The Lebanese Red Cross has developed its work and activities to meet national needs for more than 50 years (since 1945).
Today, the activities include: Dissemination of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Youth Summer Clubs, Annual Child Festival, Remedial Courses, Environmental Activities, Training the Youth to Non-Violence, Prisons and Juvenile Center Programs, Rest Houses Visits, Celebration of the International Volunteers Day, Income Generating Activities (fund-raising) campaigns, seasonal cards, car wash, paper manufacturing...) and Recruitment of Volunteers.
1- Dissemination IHL:
2- Summer clubs:
- Disseminates values, principles and history of the International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent and its components.
- Disseminates goals, work and activities of the Lebanese Red Cross
- Disseminates and explains the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) among the Lebanese community (Geneva conventions, its 2 additional protocols, and other international conventions related to humanitarian activities).
These clubs are responsible for training the youth (5 to 12 years) to correct health and environmental behavior, to a healthy diet and to the prevention of home accidents by using “from children to parents” method (this activity is considered an opportunity to recruit new volunteers). This is achieved through activities, games, and songs stressing the importance of cooperation, respect, patriotism, children’s rights, self-expression, abiding by the rules, public and personal hygiene, and respect for the capacities of others.
In summer, the clubs recruit a group of young people (male and female), aged between 16 and 20 years, where they’re trained to be animators. Then, a place is chosen for the club for a period of 15 to 20 days ending in a festival where artwork is displayed as well as the craft exhibition prepared by the youth during the time of the club.
3- Prisons and correctional facilities:
Aimed at training specialized volunteers and staff from LRC, who possess the necessary skills to help prisoners and young delinquents improve the sanitary and psychological conditions of their detention, provide them with necessary information to maintain good health, clean environment and hygiene which will help later on with their integration onto the society. Currently, the program focuses on periodic visits to prisons and juvenile centers. It also focuses on preparing cultural, health awareness and social programs executed by the Youth Department volunteers, in coordination with competent official organizations, individuals and associations.
4- Child festival:
It is an annual free festival organized by the Youth Department between March and April every year. The Festival targets children aged between 5 to 13 years old. The importance of this festival lies in the diversity of the educational, recreational and entertaining activities it has to offer like handicrafts, traditional exhibitions, a fair, educational and recreational games, plays, environmental and health awareness, drawing, disseminating general information about the Lebanese Red Cross principles through active games. It also includes exhibitions and an exposition of the Lebanese Red Cross activities. This event started in 1999 and every year around 8000 children take part in it.
5- Remedial courses:
The Lebanese Red Cross organizes free and private remedial courses for students who have learning difficulties at schools. Volunteers give courses during sessions organized periodically or according to the need, at the medical and social services centers.
6- Environmental activities:
The Society’s volunteers, especially the Youth Department, organize various environmental campaigns which include tree-planting, tree-pruning, bushes and street cleaning in villages and cities, cleaning of rivers, riverbanks and sea shores. Also, camps are organized in all centers to promote the environmental awareness, in coordination with the municipalities and interested civil associations.
7- Training the youth to non-violence:
This is achieved through training sessions for the Youth Department volunteers. Specialists in this field come to teach sound bases to deal with each other and with other people without resorting to violence.
8- Visits to elderly people and Rest Houses:
The Youth Department volunteers visit Rest Houses periodically and they organize recreational activities for the elderly to compensate for what they have been missing. The young volunteers help these old people keep their homes clean. They also paint their houses and provide them monthly with food, medicine, and clothes.
9- Income generating activities:
Annual Fund-Raising Campaign: It aims at collecting donations from citizens in all parts of Lebanon. It is one of the main financial resource of the Lebanese Red Cross.
It is launched by a central press conference held on the eve of May 8th of every year. It is accompanied by various publicity and information programs and by the collection of funds from the public in streets, at schools, religious centers, shops and banks.
10- International Volunteers Day:
- Greeting cards, parties and festivals: Various art festivals, parties and fairs are organized to collect funds to finance humanitarian programs and activities. Greeting cards are sold to finance certain programs.
- Car wash: this activity is done in collaboration with gas stations that offer their venue for free. It aims at financing humanitarian activities organized by certain Youth Centers.
- Paper manufacturing: The paper is recycled in various artistic shapes and forms in order to be sold to the public. It finances programs aimed at supporting the handicapped and also various other fields.
The Lebanese Red Cross celebrates International volunteers Day on the 5th of December every year. For that occasion, it organizes a central annual celebration gathering a large number of volunteers, friends and interested people and during which a number of volunteers are honored.
11- Recruiting volunteers:
Volunteers are recruited based on the practical needs of the Society. This is done through announcements at the centers or related institutions, or simply through individual and personal initiatives. People who want to volunteer have to be interviewed and trained about the Lebanese Red Cross principles, values and regulations. They also have to be trained on the kind of activity they’re volunteering for.