The Lebanese Red Cross gathers thousands of volunteers qualified to provide services for the most vulnerable and needy people of the Lebanese society. It is considered the largest national humanitarian organization. The Lebanese Red Cross has developed its work and activities to meet national needs for more than 70 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. A group of trained specialists supervise the implementation of these activities.
Disseminating the values and principles of the International Humanitarian Law:
This activity explains the genesis of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and its components and introduces the Lebanese Red Cross, disseminating and promoting its aims, actions, and the main principles for the Movement. It also promotes and explains the values and principles of the International Humanitarian Law (Geneva Convention, additional protocols, and other international conventions related to humanitarian actions).
Promoting the Humanitarian Norms and Values:
It is an activity that falls under the public education and calls for tolerance, solidarity and understanding and respecting others through organizing a variety of activities directed towards the youth and children. Carried out by highly skilled volunteers, it is a vital activity because of the suffering and hardship that Lebanon faced and that have left a negative impact in its community in many respects.
Youth summer clubs:
These clubs are responsible for training the youth (between ages 5 to 12) on correct health and environmental behavior, following a healthy diet and prevention against home accidents by using the “from children to parents method”. This activity is considered an opportunity to recruit new volunteers. All 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.
n the summer, the clubs recruit a group of young people (male and female), aged between 16 and 20, where they are trained to be animators. A venue is then chosen for club activities that last for 15 to 20 days, ending in a festival where artwork is displayed and the craft exhibition prepared by the youth.
Prisons and correctional facilities:
The program is aimed at training specialized LRC volunteers and staff, who possess the necessary skills to help prisoners and young delinquents improve the sanitary and psychological conditions of their detention. They provide them, according to the possibilities, with crafts raw materials and necessary information to maintain good health, clean environment and hygiene, which will later help in their integration into society. The training also includes educational programs and health and social awareness.
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.
The volunteers of the Society organize various awareness programs, including those on the environment. They aim to introduce the Lebanese community to the various environmental components and its effect on our daily life. They seek, in collaboration with interested municipalities and associations, to spread good environmental behavior, especially among the youth, through organizing workshops, seminars, national and local campaigns, warning of the environmental risks in the region and the world, such as climate change and water problems.
The LRC also cares for raising awareness in society, especially among the youth, about AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. It prepares trainees and consultants to transfer awareness and education through same age people, and organizing national campaigns, seminars, workshops, flyers and other direct and indirect means.
Aiming to decrease the number of pedestrian and car accidents victims, especially among the youth, the volunteers organize various campaigns in schools and universities, in particular, and the local community, in general. Through the use of audio and visual devices, the volunteers focus on the dissemination of traffic safety and sense of responsibility, warning of the risk of violating traffic laws.
In addition, the LRC organizes and participates in the national health campaigns aimed at raising awareness on avoiding diseases, epidemics, and viruses, in order to build a good and healthy community.
Visits to elderly people and Rest Houses:
The Youth Department volunteers visit nursing homes periodically and they organize recreational activities for the elderly. The young volunteers help the elderly keep their homes clean. They also paint their houses and provide them with food, medicine, and clothes on a monthly basis.
Income generating activities:
-Annual Fund-Raising Campaign:
It aims at collecting donations from citizens all across Lebanon. It is one of the main financial resources of the Lebanese Red Cross. It is launched through a central press conference held on the eve of May 8 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.
- 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 carried out in collaboration with gas stations that offer their venue for free. It aims at financing humanitarian activities organized by certain Youth Centers.
International days and conferences:
Organizing and participating in conferences, seminars, workshops, and clubs dealing with humanitarian affairs and active participation in the global campaigns launched by the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies at the Lebanese and world level.
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 are volunteering for.