The Romanian Red Cross celebrates 145 years of humanitarian action and is still with the people, “constantly following the founding values of the organisation,” and the civic spirit, empathy and kindness today give “confidence and hope,” Custodian of the Romanian Crown, Margareta, the chair of the Romanian Red Cross (SNCR), underlined at an anniversary event on Thursday held in the garden of Elisabeta Palace.
“The Romanian Red Cross celebrates 145 years of humanitarian action, constantly following the founding values of the organisation. We have always been close to those who needed help and hope, in times of war, famine, drought, epidemics and natural disasters. All this time, the Romanian Red Cross has proven how strong human character can be. Our volunteers are a source of inspiration for all of us, through courage, kindness and devotion. Last year, we struggled with illness, fear of the unknown and loneliness. The Red Cross is still with the people, and when the pandemic overwhelmed the emergency services, our volunteers adapted to respond to urgent and serious needs, and I am grateful to all those who have provided energy and skill, will and idea to fulfill our mission in the country, even in the world in almost a century and a half. Your civic spirit, empathy, kindness give today confidence and hope. They are also fundamental values of the future of our planet,” said Margareta, according to Agerpres.
Part of the event was a decoration ceremony of the Romanian National Red Cross Society, who awarded “Centenarul Razboiului pentru Intregirea Neamului” (Centennial of the War for the Unification of the Nation) commemorative medal presented by President Klaus Iohannis. The medal was handed by presidential adviser Sergiu Nistor.
“The President of Romania rewards an exceptional activity: 145 years of existence of an entity, of a fundamental institution for the modernity of Romania. These 145 years were not easy years, among them shines the example of dedication the SNCR brought during the Great War. This society is also one of those institutions that signalled to Europe that Romania shares European values and good practices. It is probably one of those institutions that enshrines European and universal values in Romania as well,” reads President Iohannis’ message.
In a speech to the event, General Director of the Romanian Red Cross Ioan Silviu Lefter highlighted the important role that CRR has had for 145 years of existence, during which time it has offered vital services to people in the most difficult moments.
“In almost a century and a half, CRR has brought relief and provided vital services to people in the most difficult times, such as WWI, WWI II, epidemics of malaria, cholera, typhus, tuberculosis, during famine, floods, earthquakes, drought, extreme cold and pandemics. Every year, each generation of volunteers has adapted to the challenges and needs our country has had to meet (…) We want to celebrate all the volunteers and staff who have made CRR what it is today, a reliable organisation that pours its heart and skill into helping those in need.”
Also attending the event, senior emergency management official with the Interior Ministry Raed Arafat and Chairman of Romania’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Coordination Committee Valeriu Gheorghita underlined in his turn the importance of the “very good” partnership with CRR during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Red Cross has been a partner, I have worked with them a lot at the Emergency Management Department (DSU), we have carried out several projects with their support, so it has been a partnership for life and that is the most important thing,” said Arafat.
Gheorghita said that among the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, there has an “extraordinary” pooling of all resources nationwide – authorities and a number of non-governmental organisations – with the Red Cross being “by far the most important in terms of national coverage, especially through the endeavours to support vaccination in particular in the countryside.”
An award ceremony of the CRR donors also took place during the event.
The ceremony was also attended by Chair of the Senate Anca Dragu, volunteers, representatives of the diplomatic corps, the presidential administration, state institutions and civil society, partners and friends of the Romanian Red Cross.