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Protect children in war: how national societies are supporting the campaign


To highlight the tragedy of children in war, the ICRC and UEFA have launched a joint campaign to coincide with EURO 2004(tm) football championship, taking place in Portugal from June 12 to July 4. National Red Cross societies whose countries have qualified were involved from the beginning and, in an expression of solidarity, many societies whose teams did not make it have now rallied to the cause.


 Austrian Red Cross  
In Austria, the referee Fritz Stuchlik, the Austrian Football Association and the National Red Cross Society have joined forces to promote'Protect Children in War'nationwide. The national campaign was launched during a press conference with Mr. Stuchlik as national ambassador on 9 April.

To maximize visibility, an article on the campaign will feature in the Austrian Red Cross'widely distributed youth magazine, and the national ambassador sports the campaign tshirt during football matches.

Click here for more information on the Austrian Red Cross' activities  
British Red Cross' activities

   British Red Cross  
The British Red Cross'Children in War campaign builds on the UEFA/ICRC partnership and introduces the issues faced by children whose lives are affected by war to a UK audience. To coincide with UEFA EURO 2004(tm) the British Red Cross is running a major school project to raise awareness on the issue of Children in War, and fundraising initiatives to help related projects overseas. 
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 Danish Red Cross  
In Denmark a three prong approach is being used by the Danish Red Cross to promote the campaign.

A nationwide'Protect Children in War'information campaign is happening through the national sc hool service.
The National Red Cross Society has partnered with its football counterpart, the Danish Football Association (DBU), via soccer-schools for children, where education materials on children in war are being distributed, and a nationwide'Children in War quiz'has been launched. 

Major Danish football icons have joined this initiative, such as referee Kim Milton and several nat'l team players, to highlight the campaign linking the themes of soccer and children in war.
Fundraising initiatives of the Danish Red Cross focus on assisting children affected by war in Sierra Leone and Uganda.

   German Red Cross

The presence of the German referee - Markus Merk - as an official UEFA-ICRC campaign ambassador, was what triggered the German Red Cross'involvement in the programme.
Since then, a press conference was held in the presence of Mr. Merk and the President of the German Red Cross in order to present the campaign.
The German Football League, has also become an active supporter of the national campaign. As a result, the game Hungary vs. Germany scheduled on 6 June has become a major campaigning event. Some 40,000'referee cards'carrying the campaign logo and autographed by Mr Merk will be distributed to ticket holders by German Red Cross youth volunteers.
Icelandic Red Cross' activities

   Icelandic Red Cross

Even though Iceland did not qualify for the EURO 2004(tm), Icelandic Red Cross decided to join the UEFA-ICRC campaign, as it represents a unique and powerful means to highlight the important issue of Children in War. As a result Icelandic Red Cross adopted this theme as their yearly campaign, promoted through schools and other venues.
The National Society took on an innovative fundraising initiative, and will be holding an on-air competition during the EURO 2004(tm) matches, proceeds of which will go towards supporting Children in War projects.
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 Latvian Red Cross

The Latvian Red Cross, whose national team has qualified for the EURO 2004(tm), has joined this campaign but through a very hands-on approach to assist children at a national level. It found a highly supportive partner embodied by the National Football Association, to jointly assist vulnerable children.
The national football team visited orphanages and homes for abused children – one national player per institution - to engage in playing games, discuss the theme, play football. Gadgets and footballs were donated by the football association to these vulnerable children.
The highlight of this joint campaign takes place on 6 June, when the national team plays a football match against a selection of the best players from the orphanages. The game will be cheered-on by other orphans and vulnerable children in the audience. This will be Latvian football team's last match before they depart for the EURO 2004(tm). The Latvian Red Cross will provide transport, food and a wide media coverage is expected.

 Netherlands Red Cross

The Netherlands Red Cross has joined the ICRC-UEFA's campaign through its own partnership with Canon. A major photo exhibition -'The Right Side of the Lens'– will be launched on 4 June. The specific theme of this project is to exhibit pictures taken by celebrities of actions and rights considered normal for children in some countries but not possible in other countries.

A number of fundraising initiatives have developed around this project with Canon in favor of children afflicted by war.

 Portuguese Red Cross

The Portuguese Red Cross (PRC) is a key player in the ICRC-UEFA joint campaign during the EURO 2004 (tm). During 14 matches of EURO 2004(tm), including the final on 4 July, PRC volunteers will provide first aid services on-pitch. Off-pitch, a number of major events and partnerships in relation to EURO 2004(tm) are being implemented to promote the'Protect children in war'campaign.
The Ministry of Education organized with the PRC a national youth tournament with the participation of 1,500 schools nationwide, involving 6,000 children, football players, tv coverage and other media. The Portuguese EURO 2004 (tm) referee, Lucílio Baptista, is serving as the national campaign ambassador for the PRC. As such, he will be refereeing the final youth football tournament on 29 May in Portugal.
The state's official tv channel RTP also partnered with PRC to organize a music show benefiting the campaign. RTP wil l broadcast a documentary on the topic of children in war, focusing on activities of the'red cross family'in portuguese-speaking countries of Africa.
Since the first quarter final match on 24 June is dedicated to promote the'Protect children in war'campaign, numerous activities will be carried-out on that day by the PRC throughout Lisbon. The mayor is organizing with PRC volunteers the release of some 5,000 balloons'Let Us Play'with the participation of over 1,500 children. Campaign items - such as tshirts and bbcaps will be distributed at the EURO's Fan Park, while pins and flyers are handed-out to ticket holders to raise awareness on the issue.
Swedish Red Cross' activities
   Swedish Red Cross

The Swedish Red Cross (SRC) has joined the campaign by partnering with the official campaign ambassador, Swedish referee Anders Frisk, as well as with the Swedish Football Association. Throughout the EURO 2004 (tm) tournament, a click-to-give initiative will be carried-out by the SRC and the football association.
A press conference was organized by SRC on 29 March with Mr. Frisk, upon his return from a field visit to Sierra Leone where he witnessed activities in favour of children affected by war carried-out by the ICRC and the Sierra-Leone Red Cross.The campaign will be promoted during football matches in Sweden on 5 and 24 June with the display of'Let Us Play'spots, and collection boxes for the benefit of children affected by war.
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