Cameroon Red Cross Society celebrates 50th anniversary

For a half century, the Cameroon Red Cross Society (CRCS) has been providing humanitarian assistance – responding swiftly to crises and steadily to daily needs. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in December.

The CRCS has had more than one reason to celebrate this past year. The year 2013 marked not only the 150th anniversary of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement but also the 50th anniversary of the CRCS.

The anniversary celebration took place on 12 December at National Society headquarters in Yaoundé. Participants included, among others, representatives from the International Movement, the CRCS governing board, members of the National Society, and the media.

Complementing the official ceremony was a photo exhibition illustrating the Society’s 50 years of humanitarian action. A media briefing followed the opening of the public exhibition. The exhibition and briefing provided the perfect opportunity to look back on past achievements and to discuss the Society’s current projects, which include supporting refugees from Chad and the Central African Republic, caring for victims of fire and people injured in accidents, building latrines and, most recently, implementing a food-security programme in the far north of the country.

A promising future

In addition to organizing those major projects, the National Society has committed itself to helping young people by setting up a youth programme. Cédric Jiatsana Mbana, a young volunteer, was one of those attending the ceremony. He said that the Red Cross was the best organization to volunteer for. A first-aid worker, peer educator and youth leader, he was particularly enthusiastic about the training he had received in the youth programme and expressed his pleasure at being able to share his knowledge.

The young man believes that the Red Cross is “an integral part of Cameroonian society” and is convinced that it is here to stay. Like Cédric, the CRCS has big plans for the future.

Cédric Jiatsana Mbana is a young volunteer for the CRCS.  CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC