The South African Red Cross Society
The South African Red Cross Society is a member organisation of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Socities (IFRC), which is the largest volunteer driven organisation on earth. The Red Cross Society has 100 million members and a presence in 189 countries.
In August 2007 the South African Government recognized The South African Red Cross Society as an Official Auxiliary to the Government in Humanitarian Aid.
Humanitarian services in South Africa can be traced back to the late 1800’s. The South African Red Cross Society was established in 1921 and admitted into the IFRC in 1929.
Today the South African Red Cross Society is a member of the IFRC Governing Board.
It has three main components:
- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
- 189 member Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
- As partners, the different members of the Movement support communities in becoming stronger and safer through a variety of development projects and humanitarian activities. The Movement also works in cooperation with governments, donors and other aid organizations to assist vulnerable people around the world.
The Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
Humanity: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, purpose is to protect life, health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all people.
Impartiality: We make no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious belief, class or political opinions. We endeavour to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided sorely by their needs and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
Independence: The Movement is Independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
Unity: There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
Voluntary: We are a voluntary relief movement, not prompted in any manner by desire or gain.
Neutrality: In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement will not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
Universality: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all societies have equal status, share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.
Our mission of the South African Red Cross Society is to render services to prevent and alleviate human suffering and to foster human dignity in all communities by addressing the basic needs of the people in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
Our vision is for the South African Red Cross Society is to be a democratic service organization that is effective, high profile, dynamic and sensitive to the needs of all communities and acting within the fundamental principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.