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Humanitarianism and the Red Cross

Myanmar Red Cross distributes aid to flood affected communities in August 2015

Humanitarianism is at the heart of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, guiding all that it does and everything it stands for.


The activities in this resource support young people to learn about the formation of the Movement, before looking at the principles underpinning its work and real-life examples of its actions.


Learners then consider why people might not feel able to intervene to help those in need and how any barriers to helping might be overcome; finally considering the role of humanitarianism in their own actions and lives.


Learning objectives

Learners will:
    • Understand the history of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement by exploring the story of Henri Dunant – the founder of the Red Cross Movement - through an animated film.
    • Explore the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and understand the importance of humanity in the work of the Red Cross. 
    • Through a film, explore some of the humanitarian responses of the Red Cross in real-life situations, for example emergencies and conflict.
    • Explore barriers that might exist to stepping in and helping someone in need, considering ways of overcoming these barriers, and discussing how to take humanitarian actions in their own lives.

Suggested age range 14 -19


Resource Overview
  1. Starter: A humanitarian vision
    Start by understanding how the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was founded by Henri Dunant; explore some of the principles on which the Movement is based alongside an animated film and group discussion.
  2. Raising awareness: Refusing to ignore people in need
    Learners imagine they are Henri Dunant and through a series of questions write a persuasive letter, speech or poem to motivate others to support the Red Cross and reflect on the events that initiated the Movement.
  3. Raising awareness: The Fundamental Principles
    Through a group activity learners engage in more depth with the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and how they relate to the Geneva Conventions.
  4. Then and now: The legacy of Henri Dunant
    Watch a film sharing the real-life actions of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, learners discuss the commonalities and developments from the formation of the Movement up to present day.
  5. Taking action: Humanitarian action in everyday life
    Explore the barriers that might exist to stepping in and helping someone, learners relate their ideas back to the story of Henri Dunant before moving onto a group activity, considering how they might help and support those in need around them.

    Finish by considering what humanitarian values and principles young people would like to bring into their own lives and actions.


Credits
These resources were written by Rob Bowden and Rosie Wilson of Lifeworlds Learning and published in September 2015.

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