British Red Cross: Communicating In Emergencies

Joseph has found a phone dropped by Alan Hackston. He needs your help to work out how to use it. Don’t know who Alan Hackston is? Maybe you should read his blog. If you missed Joseph’s video, you can watch it here.

british red cross

Effective communications are essential to the work of the Red Cross. Trained volunteers and staff use mobile satellite phones, laptops and mobile phones so that people in affected areas can call relatives and confirm their safety. They also use these devices to coordinate their efforts in times of emergency, and provide the public with up-to-date information on why help is needed and how their donations are being used.

Using mobile phones to send text messages is a quick and easy way of communicating. British Red Cross staff and volunteers have been using Twitter and the British Red Cross blog to talk about our work.

Displacement Camps

You should now be able to see a map of Joseph’s camp. He may ask you what you see, so let him know that you can see the map.

A bloody, indiscriminate and unpredictable conflict terrorised the people of northern Uganda for 20 years. The conflict between the government of Uganda and armed militia, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), forced thousands of people to abandon their villages and flee to safety.

The majority of people displaced by the violence where forced to live in overcrowded camps like Joseph’s.

The British Red Cross has helped the Uganda Red Cross provide life-saving support to those still living in camps, as well as supporting those returning home. Find out more about the northern Uganda crisis or watch a video of when actor James McAvoy visted a camp

Helping People

Joseph has found someone who isn’t very well. Her symptoms are a bad fever and vomiting. You need to help Joseph find out what’s wrong with her and then help him get to the first aid hut.

The British Red Cross provides health and social care to communities in poorer countries where people live miles away from any health and social care facility and cannot afford to buy medicine. We give people the skills and knowledge to help them address their own problems.

Our health and social care programmes cover a range of areas, including: HIV; tuberculosis; water and sanitation; conflict and post-conflict care; and community-based health care.

Civilians in conflicts

Joseph goes outside of the camp to collect fire wood and runs into men with guns.

Even in times of war, there are rules. The British Red Cross supports a wide range of projects to help people during and after armed conflicts, whether they have fled to the UK to seek refuge or are recovering from conflicts overseas.

Civilians and Conflict Month was a media campaign in October 2008 to highlight our international tracing and message and refugee services in the UK, as well as overseas projects helping people recover from conflicts, like the child advocacy and rehabilitation programme in Sierra Leone.

How to cope with fire

The camp is on fire! You need to guide Joseph through the camp to safety.

Fire can devastate lives in seconds. In crowded camps like Joseph’s, fire is a common problem but it’s also a problem around the world. The British Red Cross recently provided support to the Austalian Red Cross after bushfires killed 181 people.

In the UK, the fire and emergency support service is part of our emergency response. This service is delivered by trained British Red Cross volunteers using a specially adapted vehicle and provides practical help and emotional support to vulnerable people affected by a domestic fire or similar incident.

Providing first aid

Joseph has burnt his feet and needs some first aid. Help him by giving him some advice on treating burns.

One of the most famous services provided by the British Red Cross is our first aid training and services. It’s one of the key ways we help prepare people for crisis. We offer a wide range of first aid training, products and campaigns, as well as providing first aid at public events.

Our site provides a wide range of learning materials for first aid, including quizzes, videos and written explanations. We also have an inclusive first aid programme for people who need a more flexible training style, with a particular focus on disabled people.

Finding missing relatives

Joseph has found out that the admin hut is in a clearing with another small blue-roofed building. Use the map to guide him there.

Joseph has heard that there may be a Red Cross message from his mother at the admin hut. A Red Cross message is an open letter containing family news. During a conflict, the neutrality of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement means that we are able to pass these messages across borders and conflict lines when other forms of communication are not in working order.

What happens next?

Well done! You’ve completed Traces of Hope. While this was just a story, the Red Cross really does help people around the world just like Joseph get in touch with their family. You can help too.

Find out more about our international tracing and message services.
Find out more about volunteering with the British Red Cross.

You might also enjoy playing other games produced by the Red Cross.

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