Living up to its reputation for working close to the grass roots, the Namibia Red Cross Society chose a refugee camp at Osire, in Central Namibia, , to hold its Strategy 2010 launch on 29 January. "I'm very happy to be doing this here and not in Windhoek" said Razia Essack-Kauaria, Secretary General of the Namibia Red Cross, to mark the launch. "We are all human beings who are driven by our sense of humanity. Without you we could not do our work." The Strategy 2010 document is meant to clarify the International Federation's mission and action over the ten years. Its aim is to allow Red Cross and Red Crescent programme to better meet the needs of vulnerable people everywhere, especially by having activities focus on four core areas : disaster response and preparedness, health in the community and promotion of the Movement's Fundamental Principles.
By holding the launch in the Osire refugee camp, the Namibia Red Cross is committing itself to continue to respond better to humanitarian needs. The camp is home to nearly 8,000, mostly Angolan, refugees who have fled conflict in their own countries. The Namibia Red Cross is providing all camp services except for the provision of food, for which United Nations High Commission for Refugees is responsible. Primary-level education is organized by the Namibian Council of Churches for the camp's three thousand children.
Three International Federation delegates from Zimbabwe and Zambia are helping to implement shelter, community health care and water and sanitation programmes. "For me, the best part of working here" says Charity Sikamo, the International Federation's health co-ordinator, "is that I can pass on skills learnt in our own programmes to Red Cross health workers from other National Societies, and also to the refugees and the local population".
Several former Angolan Red Cross volunteers are helping the Namibia staff to run various programmes. They are also involved in tracing missing family members, and in facilitating contacts for refugees separated from their loved ones. The head of the camp's tracing team, Castro Mawonso, from Uige province in northern Angola, is also the secretary the Osire branch of the Red Cross. "For me, Strategy 2010 is a key that will open the door to help us work more effectively", he commented after the launch.To subscribe to Weekly News by e-mail, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of the message write "subscribe wne-dist YOUR NAME". The computer will automatically register your e-mail address.
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