Blood donation

Taru Tuohiniemi
Image: Taru Tuohiniemi
World Blood Donor Day

Blood donors save lives and more donors are desperately needed. Since 2004, June 14th has been dedicated to blood donation. The World Blood Donor Day encourages people to donate blood voluntarily without compensation.

The goals of World Blood Donor Day are:

  • To raise awareness that individuals can save lives and improve the health of others by donating blood.
  • To encourage people to donate blood voluntarily without compensation.
  • To support the operation of safe and reliable blood services.


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The Red Cross supports voluntary blood donation without compensation. Regular donors are the basis of a safe and sustainable distribution system of blood products, providing blood to those who need it.

A safe and reliable national blood donor system offers important support for health services. A patient always has the right to assume that the donation of blood, testing and processing of blood as well as the production and distribution of blood products has been carried out professionally.

A functional blood service system also promotes the achievement of three millennium goals:

  • Reducing child mortality.
  • Improving the health of pregnant women.
  • Fighting against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Club 25

This Red Cross project supports young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 in voluntary blood donation. The members commit to regular blood donations and a healthy way of life in order to meet the requirements for donors. Club 25 members save lives while also preserving their own health and encouraging others to do the same.

In club meetings, issues of concern for young people are discussed, such as sex, alcohol, violence, smoking and drugs. Also problems at school, unemployment and other social problems affecting young people are discussed.

The first Club 25 was founded in Zimbabwe in 1989, and the number of clubs in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased to 15. There are also Club 25 clubs in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Blood donation activities for young people currently exist in more than 60 countries

The Finnish Red Cross and Club 25 activities

“When someone needed to be hospitalised, their family started to find out whether their blood could be used for treatment. If the family could not donate, they would turn to relatives”, says Kimmo Juvas, planner of international aid at the Finnish Red Cross.

The Finnish Red Cross supported Club 25 operations in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2007–2009. Until recent years, the availability of blood was poor in those areas.

As a part of developing activities for young people, youth in the Latin America and Caribbean region started Club 25 clubs in universities and schools. The purpose of the club members was to donate blood some twenty times by the time they reach 25 and make regular blood donations a permanent habit.

The Club 25 programmes were a great success in Latin America and the Caribbean and the number of blood donors in the area started to grow. There are already clubs in more than 20 countries within the region, ranging from Tierra del Fuego to Mexico.