Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rove inmates completed 2 days First Aid training

SIRC (Honiara)- After two days of First Aid training a group of Rove inmates been awarded with certificates on Tuesday 28th October 2008, in the presence of the Commandant of Correctional Service, Program Director of the Correctional Service Welfare Department and staff, and the acting Secretary General of the Solomon Islands Red Cross (SIRC), Mr. Lorima Tuke. It was a joint initiative effort by the SI Red Cross and Rove Correctional Service Welfare Department as part of the correctional service rehabilitation.

In his keynote Mr. Tuke said SIRC has been a committed partner of the Correctional Service for quite sometimes. The local Red Cross has been providing assistances to the inmates with eye glasses and supporting their families to visit them in Rove.

“With the same line of thinking, SIRC has provided this First Aid training free to you (inmates) hoping you will become good citizens to support your families and communities with skills you acquired.

“SI Red Cross will continue to assist in the areas appropriate for the welfare of the inmates. Hopefully a next group of inmates will be trained next year”, he said.

Reply to that, Commandant of Correctional Service thanked the SI Red Cross, its instructors, and Rove Correctional Service program staff for this important initiation for the inmates. And he looks forward for that to continue in the future. In relation to that, the participants’ representative said his group was very fortunate to be selected for that training. They thanked the SIRC and Correctional Service for the skills they acquired in the two-day training which would be very helpful to them, their families, and neighbors.

It was the first training the SIRC ever had with the inmates at Rove Correctional Service.

For more information; contact the First Aid Department on phone (677) 22682 or Dissemination Department, email: dissem_sirc@solomon.com.sb. SIRC Headquarters, New Chinatown, Honiara.

Monday, October 27, 2008

SIRC First Aid training for Rove inmates

Dissemination (SIRC)- It's another break through for the Solomon Islands Red Cross' humanitarian work in the Solomon Islands when a combined team of First Aid and Dissemination programs held a training for about eleven Rove Correctional Institution inmates today.

According to Aloysious Erobaea (a local Red Cross First Aid instructor) the arrangement of that first ever training for inmates under the rehabilitation initiative of that Correctional institution has been welcomed by both the Red Cross and the inmates attending the two days training.

"Our goal is to prepare them to be self reliant when comes to work-related safety. This is a reason why we offer the training free as part of their rehabilitation.

"I on behalf of my colleagues we are thankful to the authority of the Rove Correctional Institution to have confidence in us to go that far and train the inmates in their cells. And we are looking forward for future trainings to that targeted group", he said.

At that same occasion, Mr. Oligao Niniu, the SIRC Dissemination officer highlighted to the inmates the Red Cross has an important role to play beyond giving information about its activities and fund raisings. It asks the targeted groups like youths, arm carriers, public authorities, and communities (including the inmates at Rove) to respect lives and dignity of the protected groups such as the civilians, inmates, sick and wounded enemies, Red Cross and medical personnel, and religious people, even at a point when darkness covers the human hearts during wars.

"So Iam here today to tell you that Red Cross is a symbol of humanity. It is a symbol of hope to protect those are not involved in fightings and those no longer fighting because of sickness and wounds. And it must be respected at all times", commented Mr. Niniu.

And the two days training will be completed tommorrow with a certificates presentation to the 11 inmates for their completion of the Red Cross First Aid training.

For more information; contact the Dissemination office, email: dissem_sirc@solomon.com.sb. Or First Aid Department on phone (677) 22682, SIRC Head Quarters, New Chinatown, Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Special Development School held Open Day

By Niniu Oligao

Solomon Islands Red Cross Development School held its open day today. According to the School Principal Ms Catherine Anilafa that was a first time from the last thirty years the Special school held its Open Day.

"Our Open Day has two objectives to achieve. One, to create a moment for the parents of the children with special needs, govenment ministries, non governmental organizations, and friends of the Disable school to come together and appreciating what the school has offered to our special children in this country.

"At the same time the Solomon Islands Red Cross has launched its annual President's Appeal for 2008. This appeal is purposely to raise fund towards the assistances given to the most vulnerable people of this country, said Ms Anilafa.

During the same occasion his Excellency the Governor General of the Solomon Islands SI Red Cross patron, Sir Nathanial Waena commended the school, especially its volunteer teachers for their dedication and compassion towards the education of those children with special learning needs. Sir Waena said government and responsible authorities should take such education for this group of people seriously because they are very productive to this country.

"This kind of people are very good employees. They work as hard as a normal people.

"I have seen some of the former students of this school become very good carpenters and furniture makers at a rural training center, Makira", commented Sir Waena.

Sir Nathanial appreciated the efforts and love of the parents of the students with special needs because fulfill the responsibility God has asked from us as parents to care for the children.

This year's Special School Open Day is based on a theme: "Let the silence be heard".

Monday, October 20, 2008

Red Cross Principle of IMPARTIALITY

By Niniu Oligao (SIRC Dissemination Officer) on the discussion of Fundamental Principles as the Red Cross working tools.

While the Fundamental Principles form a whole in which each principles is interpreted in the light of the others, they also each characterize the Movement's mission differently. The principle of impartiality thus represents the very essence of Red Cross and Red Crescent thought: it inspired Henry Dunant at Solferino, it has been cited at every stage of formulation of the principles and it is, moreover, inherent to the Geneva Conventions. The text of the principle of impartiality is worded as follows:

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

Impartiality: the preliminary condition for non-discrimination

Non-discrimination was embodied from the outset in the Geneva Conventions. According to the initial 1864 Convention, any soldier no longer able to fight, by reason of wound or sickness, was to be collected and cared for, no matter what his nationality. That Convention, which was revised in 1906 and 1929, explicitly prohibited only discrimination based on nationality, whereas the 1949 Geneva Conventions state that adverse distinctions based on "sex, race, nationality, religion, political opinions or any other similar criteria" are forbidden. The final words indicate that all types of discrimination are prohibited and that those listed are given merely as examples. This basic prohibition is also contained in the Additional Protocols of 1977, with a more detailed, though not exhaustive, list of the criteria on which it is prohibited to base discrimination.

As one of the principles of international humanitarian law, non-discrimination is above all an imperative rule governing the work of the Movement, whose concern reaches out to all those in need, regardless of any factors that are not humanitarian.

Theoretically, non-discrimination is the refusal to apply distinctions of an adverse nature to human beings simply because they belong to a specific category. In the context of humanitarian ethics, non-discrimination requires that all objective distinctions among individuals be ignored, so that the aid given transcends the most virulent antagonisms: in time of armed conflict or internal disturbances, friend and foe will be assisted in the same way; likewise, those in need will be succoured at all times, whoever they may be.In practice, all the components of the Movement must strictly avoid any form of discrimination when providing material assistance or giving medical treatment. For example, in a hospital run by a National Red Cross Society and treating numerous casualties, among them enemy wounded, it would be incompatible with the principle of non-discrimination to refuse to admit the latter so that the hospital could take in more wounded compatriots. The same would be true if the National Red Crescent Society in a country torn by internal strife gave food aid to the victims of only one of the parties, and made no attempt to bring relief to those whose ideas the Society did not share.

The ICRC has the additional duty of opposing discrimination in connection with its visits to persons detained as a result of a conflict or internal disturbances. It requests the detaining authorities to give the same humane treatment to all such persons and ensures that none of them is placed at any kind of disadvantage for reasons of nationality or differing political convictions. Distinctions arising from humanitarian and rational motives, however, are not incompatible with the rule of non-discrimination: for example, requesting extra blankets for those less able to tolerate cold because of their origin, age or health.

The National Societies are particularly concerned with the requirement of non-discrimination, which is in fact a condition for their
recognition. They must be open to all who wish to become members and must permit all social, political and religious groups to be
represented; this representativity is the guarantee of the Societies' ability to engage in exclusively humanitarian activities and to resist all partisan considerations.

National Societies must be open to all nationals of their respective countries who are willing and able to help them. Foreigners who wish to join should also be able to become members, although the Societies would not be acting contrary to the principle of impartiality by refusing to accept them, since in time of war, the National Societies can operate as auxiliaries to the armed forces' medical services and the volunteer workers assigned to this task are placed on the same footing as medical personnel in the national armed forces; this could lead to difficulties for resident foreigners recruited as volunteers.

Impartiality: help proportionate to the degree of suffering

Non-discrimination means that all those in need shall be helped, yet to treat everyone in the same way without taking into account how much they are suffering, or how urgent their needs are, would not be equitable. This means that, for the Movement, the only priority that can be set in dealing math those who require help must be based on need, and the order in which available aid is shared out must correspond to the urgency of the distress it is intended to relieve.

International humanitarian law stipulates that preferential treatment must be given to certain specially vulnerable categories of protected persons, such as children and the elderly. It requires that the sick and wounded be treated with complete equality as regards care and protection and that only urgent medical reasons may justify an order of priority in the care provided. Therefore, when medical personnel are dealing with an influx of casualties, they must exercise a choice based on proportionality and treat first of all those whose condition requires immediate care.

The same holds true for all the components of the Movement: they must ensure that the distribution of food or medicines corresponds to the most pressing needs. In other words, for equal suffering, the aid will be the same, while for unequal suffering, aid will be proportionate to the intensity of distress.

In practice, the rule that relief must be proportionate to need is not easy to follow. For example, it is sometimes difficult for a National Society to collect funds for victims in countries other than its own since everyone gives according to his affinities, and national self-centredness wants aid to improve the well-being of the local population before that of foreigners. Even when this kind of nationalism is surmounted, there is a greater willingness to help neighbouring countries, whose distress is more familiar and can be sympathized with more readily. The magnificent wave of solidarity with Romania among European countries at the beginning of 1990 was such that at one point restraint had to be called for, since the gifts received far exceeded the immediate needs. Yet at the same time, in Africa and the Far East, hundreds of thousands of displaced people were barely surviving. The ICRC, for its part, has great difficulty in getting the parties to a conflict to understand that the only thing it must grant equally to each is its willingness to serve, and that in other respects its activities are proportional to the needs, and consequently unequal when distress is greater on one side than on the other.

These few examples demonstrate how difficult it is to apply the principle of proportionality in its strictest sense. But the Movement observes the principle as closely as possible by taking the most urgent suffering as the sole criterion for priority in its work.

Impartiality: the exclusion of personal bias

We have already seen that non-discrimination means disregarding objective differences between individuals. Impartiality in its true sense requires that subjective distinctions be set aside as well. To illustrate the difference between the two notions: a National Society that refuses to provide its services to a specific group of people, because of their ethnic origin, fails to observe the rule of non-discrimination; whereas a National Society staff member who, in the exercise of his functions, favours a friend by giving him better treatment than that given to others, contravenes the principle of impartiality.

As shown above, impartiality is expected of those called on to care for the less fortunate. It demands that an effort be made to overcome all prejudices, to reject the influence of personal factors, whether conscious or unconscious, and to make decisions on the basis of facts alone, in order to act without bias towards or against anyone.

In other words, impartiality implies the objective scrutiny of problems and the "depersonalization" of humanitarian work. Thus, while it is natural and human for volunteer workers of a National Society to side emotionally with one of the parties to the conflict, they are nevertheless expected to disregard their feelings in the matter when giving aid, by relieving the suffering of all victims, or when distributing relief supplies, by making no adverse distinction regarding one of the parties to the conflict.

It appears, indeed, that the principle of impartiality thus defined is an ideal to be attained, an inner quality that is rarely inborn but that most often requires one to overcome one's instincts. It demands from members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies an arduous and prolonged effort to overcome their own prejudices and preferences in order to be able to perform the purest act of impartiality which is to give more help to the adversary who is the victim of great misfortune than to the friend whose suffering is less severe, or to care for the more severely wounded, even if guilty, before the innocent whose injuries are slight.

When confronted with distress...

... the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement responds by giving aid without distinction. Mindful of human suffering, it has established an ethical foundation which is embodied in the Fundamental Principles and acts as a guideline for its work in the midst of conflicts and disasters for the victims it is pledged to assist. Each of the Movement's components, in its own area of activity and every one of its millions of members, are committed to implementing these Fundamental Principles and manifesting them in their work, so that the ideals of human solidarity and love upheld by the Movement shall not be merely empty words.

Dissemination awareness training in Auki Branch

Solomon Islands Red Cross Dissemination returned from Auki yeasterday after a week-long Dissemination training to the Auki Branch volunteers. According to Niniu Oligao (the local Red Cross Dissemination officer) though his trip faced many difficulties, the training objectives were met.

"Iam encouraged by the way our Auki volunteer responded to my request for a Dissemination awareness training. I personally thank them for their commitment and dedications to sucrifice their precious times to attend that very important training", Mr Niniu said.

He further commented the Dissemination and information sharing are regarded as the front-runners of the Red Cross activities. They serve an important role in the work of the Red Cross in our country- to tell the communities, public authorities, young generations, and even the potential arm bearers of the protection of certain groups of people which have been agreed on under the International Humanitarian Law (Law of war). These people are those who are not taking direct role in wars: the civilians, Red Cross people, religious people, medical personnel, and so fort. And those who are no longer taking part, example, the sick and wounded soldiers, and prisoners of war to be respected and cared for by the parties of the conflict.

"And at the same time to tell the people of our working tools (Red Cross Fundamental Principles) are as important as the Law of war. It promotes the confidence of people (those we help and general public) to seek our assistance when disasters and wars arise", he highlighted.

Monday, October 6, 2008

SIRC joins Disaster Risk Reduction week

Around the world today disaster response is a very costly exercise for governments, agencies, and humanitarian workers. Serously speaking, now many stakholders of disater management and humanitarian organizations have seen mitigating the impacts of disaster is vital.

Therefore, the Solomon Islands Red Cross disaster management and Disaster Risk Reduction programs join hands with other local and international stakeholders (Non governmental organization, National Climate Change and Weather office and National Disaster Management Office) under the National Adaptation Programme for Action (NAPA) to visit communities in various provinces from 5th October to 9th October, 2008.

According to Mr. George Baragamu, SIRC Disaster Risk Reduction officer in Honiara the aim of the visits is to consult the communities of Climate Change impacts as has been planned under NAPA. Thus, can enable the communities themselves with the stakeholders' little assistances, to mitigate the increasingly impacts of Climate Change today.

"Lorima Tuke (SIRC Deputy Secretary General) leaves for Gizo today. And I will travel to Savo and Ngella from 7th-9th October, 2008 to do consultations there", said Baragamu.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tugeda fo Helti Komiuniti team still in the Weathercoast

The Solomon Islands Red Cross Tugeda fo Helti Komiuniti (THK) spends three weeks in the Weathercoast area doing health promotion activities, that to begin the three-years health project in Weathercoast and Lau Lagoon.

According to the team leader, Mr. Clement Manuri, the THK group (which consists of staff and volunteers from both Auki and Guadalcanal branches) will return to Honiara mid next week , and then will be heading to Lau Lagoon to begin working with the targeted communities on a health project.

To its advantage, some of the volunteers actually from the communities the THK project is implemented in.
By this in long-run, the Red Cross believes will have positive impacts in the communities it works with.

"Our partcipitory approach in working with the Weathercoast and Lau Lagoon communities is to involve the members and having the feeling of ownership of this initiative in long term", he said.