By Eilene Guy, American Red Cross volunteer
June 22, 2020- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe, the American Red Cross is actively supporting its sister organizations that are working to prevent and respond to the health disaster.
The Red Cross has donated $720,000 to bolster virus-related activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the globe.
Trumbull County native Jenelle Eli is part of the International Services division at Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“I want everyone to understand that not only is the American Red Cross actively responding to needs here in the U.S., but we’re also working with long-term partners around the world to ease the burden of this outbreak,” Jenelle said.
Jenelle often travels abroad to monitor the impact of Red Cross humanitarian activities. Currently, those trips are on hold.
But if she were in Haiti, for instance, she would see local Red Cross volunteers distributing masks, gloves and sanitizer—partially funded by the American Red Cross—along with accurate information about keeping safe from the disease.
In Colombia, she would see a widespread hand washing campaign and antibacterial gel dispensers at community gathering points. She would also see basic health services being provided to refugees from neighboring Venezuela.
On the other side of the world, in the giant refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, she would witness 3,400 Red Cross volunteers teaching their fellow residents how to spot the symptoms of COVID-19 in order to reduce the spread of infection. Meanwhile, refugees who have begun a cottage industry of sewing are being paid to make vitally needed masks.
In nearby Myanmar, Red Cross support is funding a massive hygiene education effort with posters and stickers, as well as temperature screening checkpoints and services at community quarantine facilities.
Back on our side of the world, in the Bahamas, Red Cross support is making it possible for the Bahamian Red Cross to deliver food and clean drinking water to residents who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“These are just a few of the activities that Red Cross and Red Crescent societies have identified as local needs. We’re making it possible for teams to increase their lifesaving efforts all around the globe,” said Jenelle, who also spoke of American Red Cross team members’ efforts in Indonesia , Mexico, Panama and El Salvador.
Read more about these international activities here.
“Americans can be proud to be supporting these humanitarian efforts through the extraordinary reach of the Red Cross and Red Crescent network,” Jenelle said.
Jenelle isn’t the only northern Ohioan involved in this outreach. Every supporter of the Red Cross makes these efforts possible. To support the international team, make a donation by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-REDCROSS or texting Red Cross to 90999.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer