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How volcanoes exploded onto the scene

A volcano is essentially a vent in the Earth’s surface. But, instead of blowing warm air and keeping your feet toasty (like a vent in your home), a volcano exhausts gases, volcanic ash and lava. Volcanoes exist because the Earth’s surface (the crust) is made of tectonic plates and it is estimated that there are 1500 active volcanoes today. 

Rains in Kindo Koysha, Ethiopia: Predictably unpredictable

Nearly one year ago, my colleague Martin De Vries described the first rains of 2017 to fall on the desperately drought-affected district of Kindo Koysha in southern Ethiopia. The occasion was joyous but all too short-lived. As Martin concluded then: “Has the drought ended? Not by a long way.” I arrived in Ethiopia three months later to find incredibly resilient people coping with varying degrees of recurrent drought in their regular ways; ways unfathomable to most of us in Canada.

Walking to Kutupalong

By 9 a.m., fog has burned off and I am already looking for shade as we begin the hour-long walk through the makeshift settlement in Kutupalong. We are headed to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society mobile clinic. After many trips, we know the trail reasonably well, only occasionally needing the local volunteers to guide us through new market areas or construction sites, which seem to appear everyday along the route. We are from different worlds - Bangladesh, Myanmar and Canada - yet we chat easily about the work day to come. What was chaotic and overwhelming a few weeks ago has become familiar – it is easy to forget that this great sprawling village is one of the largest camps of displaced people in the world.

Hope for a better future in Syria: Reflections from a Canadian in Eastern Ghouta

The people of Eastern Ghouta have had to endure weeks, months and even years of fighting.
I had the opportunity to visit two of the camps that are now hosting thousands of people who are not only hungry and in many cases sick, but also tired. Tired of living in conflict. Tired of not being able to live a normal life.

Giving back feels close to home

Canadian Red Crosser Dr. Mausam Bohara shares her experience working on the ground in Bangladesh, providing care for people who are fleeing violence in Myanmar. 

In photos: responding to a growing refugee crisis in Uganda

Uganda is currently facing one of the world’s largest refugee crises. As the host country with the largest refugee population in Africa, Uganda hosts an estimated 1.3 million refugees from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. New arrivals come every day, of which the vast majority are women and children.

Volunteers on the ground in Bangladesh providing psychosocial support

​The image of a group of women heading out to the makeshift camps in Bangladesh, their Red Cross t-shirts visible beneath their lightweight headscarves, remains in the mind of Denyse Bourgault. Bourgault was on the ground in the Cox’s Bazar district as a psychosocial support (PSS) delegate from the Canadian Red Cross to help those who crossed the border fleeing violence in Myanmar.

A shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen at the Red Cross field hospital in Bangladesh

On a stifling and humid afternoon in November, Julekha ‘Juli’ Akter sat on the floor of a small tent for families in the transit camp for vulnerable people arriving in Bangladesh after fleeing violence in Myanmar. The 18-year-old Bangladesh Red Crescent Society volunteer held the hand of an elderly woman, never breaking eye contact as the newcomer tearfully explained her journey.

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The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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