According to history, in 1919, the Liberia Red cross society was founded during the administration of the late President of Liberia, Daniel E. Howard, when he constituted a " Voluntary Relief Committee" to raise funds to assist war victims during world war I and in the same year, a joint resolution was adopted by the national legislature of Liberia thus creating the Red cross society of Liberia which was later reconstituted by the late President William V.S. Tubman as "The Liberia National Red cross Society" and was recognized in 1959 by the international Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.Addressing newsmen at the occasion on behalf of the President of the Liberia National Red Cross, Marie Leigh-Sherman, was the second vice president of the Liberia National Red Cross, David K. Vinton who said, "it is a cherished tradition that we join the 188 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies worldwide to commemorate the 153rd Anniversary of the birth of Red Cross movement. Mr. Vinton also used the occasion to remember a British Red cross worker, Khali Rasjeld Dale, and other Red crossers who have lost their lives in bringing relief to people made destitute by natural or man-made occurrences.
Mr. Vinton said this year’s event is a clarion call for Red Cross movement to accelerate their efforts in increasing community resilience and building sustainable national capacity to address youth violence, poverty, rural-urban migration and need to equip young people with marketable skills. Mr. Vinton also reminded participants and international partners of some of the challenges as; food shortage, violence, poverty, inadequate health care, limited access to water and sanitation, and escalating human vulnerability remain a global challenge.
The second vice president of the Liberia National Red Cross Society further stated that "in Liberia, the Liberian Red cross remains a key humanitarian partner through its national recovery, and acknowledges the critical role of youth as agent of change specifically that they are the future leaders of Liberia."
Mr. Vinton used the occasion to outline some achievements made thus far by the Liberia National Red Cross Society to Liberians to include: the child advocacy and rehabilitation program in 2005, training in masonry, tailoring, welding, carpentry, agriculture, pastry and tie-dye which 1,600 young people benefitted form in 23 communities in Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Gedeh counties, as well as the family tracing program which has reunited many families.
Meanwhile, Mr. Vinton stressed that the task of saving lives and changing minds is an important campaign for national recovery and development that requires collective community-based actions. He informed participants that the Liberian Red cross, with support from ICRC, has made significant progress in helping to address the needs of vulnerable Liberians throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Accordingly, in 2011, the LNRCS Food Security program benefitted 8,110 people in 4 chapters; the relief and disaster preparedness intervention reached 18,193 in 15 chapters; the water and sanitation program supported by ICRC benefitted 31,643 people in 3 chapters; the malaria control program benefitted 176,651 in 4 chapters; the HIV/AIDS program reached 9,616 people in 5 chapters; TB control program reached 13,174 as direct beneficiaries in 15 chapters; the child rehabilitation(CAR) program has benefitted 247 young people wit 12 babies in 2 chapters restoring family link(RFL) benefitted 1,965 people in 15 chapters; the women integration and training project benefitted 796 people including 55 babies; and the gender equality program has reached 651 beneficiaries in 2 chapters, thus showcasing the profile of the Liberian Red cross as a reliable humanitarian partner.
For his part, the head of delegation of the International Committee Red Cross Mr. Olivier Martins said, "as we celebrate the Red cross and Red Crescent Month, we are dedicating this month to the youth of the world, the youth have been a key factor in change and development as well as a driving force for humanitarian action."
Mr. Martin encouraged young people to continue doing more in bettering and reaching further. He stressed that youth volunteers are the most active members of Red Cross and Red Crescent movement in the world especially in time of challenges such as climate change, conflicts, violence, migration and urbanization in the world including Liberia are showcasing that they want to be part of the solution.