Session on ‘Youth and Volunteering promotion’

During the 12th Mediterranean Conference, representatives of the National Societies will explore adult and youth volunteering in the Mediterranean.

Volunteering is inherent to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Henry Dunant conceived it that way in ‘A Memory of Solferino’ when he developed the idea of creating relief societies based on the work of volunteers. Since 1862, when the book was first published, the Movement has grown and has diversified its activities.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement acts in times of war or when a natural disaster strikes. In times of peace, National Societies adapt to the needs of the population, acting accordingly. Therefore, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has become one of the largest volunteer humanitarian organizations in the world.

According to the IFRC Strategy 2020we are widely perceived as a ‘public good’ – available to everyone, everywhere, to prevent and reduce human suffering”. National Societies work for and with communities, developing people’s capacities; as “voluntary service is at the heart of community-building” and it “promotes trust and reciprocity”.

Youth requires particular attention because they are “a crucial investment, not only for today but also for the future”. The IFRC has a special initiative to promote Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change (YABC) and works on the development and the promotion of a culture of non-violence and peace. Half of the volunteers of the Movement are youth and it is important that they keep participating in the Movement when reaching their adulthood. “Young people bring much-needed skills when working alongside the increasing number of older people in a spirit of mutual respect. This is crucial to the intergenerational transfer of experience that is vital to both progress and stability in society”.

  • Humanity
  • Impartiality
  • Neutrality
  • Voluntary Service
  • Independence
  • Unity
  • Universality