Red Cross Red Crescent
My photo was taken in Sudan by Troels Jepsen.
In 2013, before I left Denmark, I was given the honor of traveling to every country in the world as goodwill ambassador of the Danish Red Cross.
The Red Cross was founded in 1863 and is today the world's largest humanitarian organisation. Amazingly it now exists with National Societies in 192 countries around the world and always aims at alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable people. A national society (NS) is a representation of the Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal within in a country. The Danish Red Cross is the NS of Denmark, the American Red Cross is the NS of the USA, the Syrian Red Crescent is the NS of Syria etc. The headquarters for both the IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent) and the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) are to be found in Geneva, Switzerland.
A goodwill ambassador is someone who brings positive attention to a cause, company or organisation. As such I aim to enlighten the world on the humanitarian efforts and inform on how you can take part. You can volunteer your time, make donations or simply share positive stories about the movement and create a difference.
In 2018 Once Upon A saga became the worlds greatest attempt to unify the movement in an unbroken journey. The late Gerard Starck reached 148 National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies within his lifetime. As of June 3rd 2023 Once Upon A Saga had paid a visit to the movement across 199 countries setting a new record. The movement was promoted across Facebook and Instagram every Sunday as #RCSunday.
The Danish Red Cross was formed in 1876: www.rodekors.dk / The Danish Red Cross did not finance the project. Your donations to the Danish Red Cross go to humanitarian work.
Here below you can find a few chosen pictures and stories from my travels throughout the world.
Honduras, Central America
My friends at the Honduras Red Cross (www.cruzroja.org.hn).
Click on image to see video.
Bahamas, North Atlantic Ocean
My friends at the Bahamas Red Cross Society honored me with this 'Life Member' pin in March 2015. www.bahamasredcross.com
Nearly all National Societies have pins of various degrees.
When I lost my hat in March 2016 it was temporarily replaced by National Societies from Central and South African countries.
Mozambique, southern Africa
My friends at the Mozambique Red Cross honored me with a signed t-shirt (www.redcross.org.mz). April 2016.
Seychelles, Indian Ocean, East Africa
I always offered the National Societies the opportunity to use my visit as a way of creating local visibility. Seychelles July 2016.
My friends at the Red Cross Society of Seychelles gave me this great honor! www.seychellesredcross.sc
Mauritius, Indian Ocean, East Africa
One way you can support National Societies around the world is by donating.
My friends at the Mauritius Red Cross Society: www.mauritiusredcross.org August 2016.
My friendship and love for You: my friends at Mauritius Red Cross Society! :)
Kenya, East Africa
Africa is the worlds most diverse continent. It has 54 wonderful countries and to follow the coastline is equal to making a journey 3/4 around the planet! (approximately 30,000 km / 18,650 mi).
On television promoting the incredible work of the Kenya Red Cross Society: www.redcross.or.ke
My friends at the Kenya Red Cross Society honored me with this special pin. November 2016.
Ethiopia, East Africa
My friends at the Ethiopian Red Cross Society gave me a warm welcome in December 2016: www.redcrosseth.org
Eritrea, East Africa
In spite of the rain and setting sun, my friends at the Red Cross Society of Eritrea received me with flowers and applause before entering the capital Asmara! :) April 2017.
Sudan, East Africa
In April 2017 my friends at the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in Khartoum honored me with this 'Humanitarian Ambassador' medallion! :) www.srcs.sd
The 7 fundamental principles are: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.
My friends at the Romanian Red Cross honored me with a medallion commemorating 140 years of humanitarian work. Their national society was formed in 1876. www.crucearosie.ro - I visited in November 2017.
Click on image to see video.
Lebanon, Middle East, Asia
In December 2017 the Lebanese Red Cross honored my efforts with this incredible medallion! www.redcross.org.lb
Jordan, Middle East, Asia
Click on image to see video.
Qatar, Gulf region, Middle East, Asia
With 192 National Socities around the world it was just a question of time before I would reach one which was established the same year I was born (1978). But how amazing to think that all which they have accomplished over the years has literally been within my lifetime. Astonishing! You can learn more about the Qatar Red Crescent Society by going to their website. I reached them in July 2018.
Bahrain, Gulf region, Middle East, Asia
The Bahrain Red Crescent was founded in 1972 when it became the 116th National Society out of the 192 which exist today. They are active within Social Services, Health Awareness, Youth, Blood Donations, First Aid, Foreign Aid and Restoring Family Links. They are a very active and kind National Society and proud to have a heritage of the Dilmun Civilization which stretches back more than 5,000 years in Bahrain. The bull's head is a miniature of an archelogical find. In the photo from left to right: Mr. Mubarak Khalifa Al Hadi (Director General), Mr. Iain James Rowe (my companion for the visit), me, and Dr. Fawzi Abdullah Amin (General Secretary).
Israel, Middle East, Asia
Magen David Adom (MDA) is what they call the Red Cross in Israel. It means the Shield of David. I often meet people who think the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems have religions connotations but in reality they are 100% neutral. The Red David Star is likewise completely neutral. MDA have an end to end blood drive solution in which they collects the blood, processes the blood, stores the blood and delivers the blood. Interestingly nobody ever asks who will get the blood when they donate or who the blood came from when they receive it. That is one of those things in life where politics and religion really plays no role. Isn’t that refreshing?
Palestine, Middle East, Asia
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) arranged for a solidarity bike ride with me!! They invited Cycling Palestine to join and a large group of us took a tour through the streets of Ramallah with a police escort ahead of us. Real VIP style! The PRCS is a full bodied national society which does phenomenal work!! And they do it in spite of some very crippling circumstances. I find that the RC truly excels in difficult environments and the PRCS is a clear example.
Azerbaijan, Caucasus, Asia
The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society were formed back in 1920 but really began to come to life after 1991. They’ve got some really dedicated staffers and volunteers! They have several key programs such as disaster preparedness, disaster response, youth and volunteer programs, dissemination about HIV and AIDS and the promotion of blood donation.
Armenia, Caucasus, Asia
I met the Armenian Red Cross (ARCS) during the Francophonie 2018 which is an international festival that takes place every second year and for 2018 it was set in to take place in Yerevan! The ARCS volunteers were busy attending heatstroke, minor injuries and what else the 58 participating member states would throw at them. They do so much more and you can discover it by clicking HERE :)
Turkmenistan, Central Asia
The Turkmenistan Red Crescent Society was established in 1928 and became an independent National Society in 1992 after Turkmenistan gained its independence. Learn more about them HERE :)
Uzbekistan, Central Asia
The Red Crescent Society of Uzbekistan deals with tasks such as a rapid response to emergencies and natural disasters, training people to provide first aid, provision of health and social care services, humanitarian assistance, capacity building, implementation of international projects and development of international cooperation in the humanitarian field. I had a good time interacting with volunteers and staff at their HQ in Tashkent. Keep on keeping on my friends!
Kyrgystan, Central Asia
Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent Society have a long proud history of humanitarian work which began already back in 1926 when the Red Cross Society of the Kyrgyz ASSR was established. I had a great time with the volunteers who are always amazing :)
Kazakhstan, Central Asia
The Red Crescent Society of Kazakhstan have a long proud history of humanitarian work which began already back in 1936 when the Red Cross Society of the Kazakh ASSR was established. Check them out HERE :)
Pakistan, Central Asia
The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) was pretty amazing! I was guided around the Blood Donor Center which is fully equipped to handle donations of blood, plasma and blood platelets. They also have storage facilities and are grateful for all the donations they receive. However in light of the ever increasing demand for safe blood, the PRCS would be grateful for more donations in order to meet their needs. That is you! ;)
Vietnam, South East Asia
It was a great pleasure meeting with the management of the Vietnamese Red Cross (VNRC) in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). They are doing an extraordinary good job which warms my heart! I was awarded this pin during my stay in HCMC. The local government gives this as a recognition for individuals who have contributed to the city. The VNRC presented me with it. Thank you! :)
Kiribati is prone to a variety of disasters. Harsh winds on and off generate waves which causes flooding across the flat nation. Rainfall is not regular and causes drought from time to time and for various reasons Kiribati is no stranger to outbreaks of several diseases. All activities which fall under the category of Disaster Management which is common part of the movements work. Kiribati Red Cross Society is also active within Red Cross Youth, Community Dissemination, Resource Mobilisation and Solid Waste Management.
Marshall Islands, Pacific
Our friends at Marshall Islands Red Cross Society!! :)
The kind hearted Palau Red Cross presented me with a gift and explained ‘Ebakl’ is the ax for a chief (only for high clan) and the spear is for spear fishing, representing a warrior. Thank you! :)
The Australian Red Cross is hardworking and impressive - but especially Rita left an impression. She joined the Red Cross when she was 11 years old. Rita was born back in 1938 just around the time WWII broke out. Yes! Rita is 84 years old (2022) and is still going strong. Rita (Richards) sits as chair on the Divisional Advisory Board for Tasmania at the Australian Red Cross.
New Zealand, Pacific
You will find some of the kindest people in the world within the Red Cross. It’s not a mystery. That’s the kind of people humanitarian work attracts. I had the great pleasure of meeting Brigitte, John, and Jill from the New Zealand Red Cross on a rainy day in Auckland.
Nestled between Secretary General Tala Mauala and President Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, who along with the board, staff and volunteers, gave me a warm welcome at the Samoa Red Cross Society in Apia.
How fitting that the last National Society within the Pacific would also turn out to be the perhaps most engaging! The Tuvalu Red Cross were kind, motivated, clever, fun and they form a solid team which should make Tuvalu proud. Here I am with Ms Milikini Failautusi, Ms Beverly Yee, Ms Tamala Afelee, Ms Sunema Maheu, SG Tagifoe Taomia, Ms Helani Fialua, Ms Salaneta Pusinelli, and Mr Kilima Kilima. Thank you for the kindness.
Maldives, Indian Ocean - FINAL VISIT!!
Together with Secretary General Fathimath Himya and Mr. Ibrahim Shameel who took this photo. As a goodwill ambassador of the Danish Red Cross I have raised awareness, raised funds, and donated my own blood across several countries. It took 3,523 days, or 9 years, 7 months, and 24 days, to symbolically connect the worlds largest humanitarian organization in a single unbroken journey (without flying). A total of 359,957km. I have made a visit to the movement in 199 countries by including e.g. Scotland and Greenland.
My contact book now holds more than 800 Red Cross Red Crescent contacts! Volunteering is a great way of making friends and National Societies can always use more help. You are welcome in the family ;)
Throughout the project I managed to visit the movement in 199 countries. On request of the Danish Red Cross I wrote 'always present stories' about my visits to the Red Cross and Red Crescent. I have written more than 100 such stories and here are a few of those which exist in English, although the links now seem to have been deactivated:
Tina Dickow is a beloved Danish singer-songwriter who successfully continues to bring joy to millions. Tina has supported the Red Cross on multiple occasions: Wikipedia
Rune Klan is a Danish comedian and world class magician. He's basically a national treasure in Denmark: Wikipedia
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
Also known as "The Mountain" in HBO's Game of Thrones, Hafþór is an Icelandic strongman and actor: Wikipedia
Adam is an American industrial designer and special effects designer/fabricator, actor, educator, television personality and TED speaker who's best known for his role on The Discovery Channel's hit series Mythbusters: Wikipedia
Alick is a popular musical artist from Zimbabwe and Goodwill Ambassador of the Zimbabwe Red Cross: Wikipedia
Gina is a successful businesswoman from Kenya with focus on strategic communication and public relations. Gina is a Goodwill Ambassador of the Kenya Red Cross: Wikipedia
Iuliana is a well known Romanian journalist and television personality. She is also a Goodwill Ambassador of the Romanian Red Cross: Webpage
Mr. Torbjørn C. Pedersen (Thor)
Danish Red Cross Goodwill Ambassador.