Red Cross Youth pledge to boost community resilience
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Singapore, 17 December 2016 - To commemorate its 65th anniversary, the Singapore Red Cross Youth today pledged to boost community resilience in Singapore by championing blood donation, helping the disadvantaged, and educating our community on emergency and disaster preparedness, through a series of activities over the next year.

Inspired by SG Secure and themed “Red Wave Rising”, the pledge was launched by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community at a community outreach at Our Tampines Hub.

Mr Baey said, “In light of security attacks across the world, the need for Singapore to be vigilant and prepared has never been more urgent. It is crucial that all of us do our part to build emergency preparedness in our community. I hope the Red Cross Youth will serve as catalysts in engaging citizens to contribute to community resilience by donating blood, practicing first-aid, and looking out for one another.”

The 10,000-strong Red Cross Youth movement aged 9 to 35 kicked off their 65th anniversary celebrations with a commitment to rally the community to donate 6,500 units of blood over the next year.

Highlighting the significance of the blood donation pledge, Mr Sahari Ani, Director of the Singapore Red Cross Youth, said, “A robust blood supply is critical to saving lives during everyday emergencies, and more so in times of crisis. With the ageing population in Singapore, our aim is to increase the percentage of youth blood donors from the current 28 percent to 35 percent, in order to have a sustainable blood supply. As passionate youth leaders, the Red Cross Youth are in a good position to encourage and inspire their peers and fellow citizens to become blood donors.”

Wasting no time in taking action, the 250 Red Cross Youth present at the outreach distributed blood donation pledge cards to Tampines residents, and engaged some 74 retail merchants and hawkers in Tampines to display a blood donation sticker in support of the lifesaving cause.

In line with their commitment to prepare the community for emergencies, the Red Cross Youth also distributed 100 FoodAid packs to needy households in Tampines, gave out SGSecure information packs, and held first aid demonstrations, to equip residents with knowledge and supplies for emergencies.

Noting that the efforts of the Singapore Red Cross Youth align with global and national initiatives for resilience, Mr Sahari said, “In the last 65 years, the Red Cross Youth have significantly expanded the scope of their service, from a CCA in school to a platform for humanitarian leadership in the community. It is timely for the Red Cross Youth to play an active part in driving SG Secure’s call to strengthen our defences against crisis.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), of which the Singapore Red Cross is a member, has also adopted the vision of “One Billion Coalition for Resilience”. It is a transformative initiative to scale up community and civic action to strengthen resilience. By 2025, the global Red Cross Movement hopes that at least one billion people around the world would have taken steps towards strengthening resilience.”

As part of their 65th anniversary celebrations, the Red Cross Youth will also be launching the sale of four limited edition teddy bears (Annex A), available at S$65 for a set of four or S$20 each, to raise funds for local community services run by the Singapore Red Cross. Public can call 6664 0500 or email admin.rcy@redcross.sg to purchase the bears.

About Singapore Red Cross
Singapore Red Cross is a homegrown humanitarian organisation, dedicated to relieving human suffering, protecting lives and dignity and responding to emergencies since 1949. We serve the vulnerable through our blood donor recruitment programme, home and day activity centre for the disabled, transport aid, food aid, and community first aid. We build capacity and resilience through our training academy, and volunteer and youth development. Beyond our shores, we mobilise and translate contributions from the donor community to relief and recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, with the aim of helping communities affected by disasters. For more information, please see www.redcross.sg.

Speech by Guest-of-Honour Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community

Speech by Mr Sahari Bin Ani, Director Red Cross Youth