The Finnish Red Cross in 2019 in pictures

Olav A. Saltbones / Norwegian Red Cross
Red Cross aid workers at al-Hol delivered a baby girl via caesarean section. The baby weighed 2.7 kilograms and needed supplemental oxygen. The duties of the Finnish aid workers included treating the ill and anyone injured in the war as well as handling difficult births, for example.
Image: Olav A. Saltbones / Norwegian Red Cross

The year 2019 was full of aid work and humane deeds both at home and abroad. The following images are excerpts of what we have achieved together. Huge thanks to all volunteers, employees, supporters, partners and friends of the Red Cross!

Early in the year, the Red Cross spoke for justice in the People, simply campaign, together with the Finnish Section of Amnesty International and Finn Church Aid. The week against racism, in turn, was held in March. Racist views are in stark contrast with the principles of the Red Cross, which emphasise humanity and impartiality.
 
In the meeting cafés of the People, simply campaign, strangers from different backgrounds were able to meet and chat. Photo: Mirva Helenius
 
 
We alleviated loneliness by providing friends to those who were looking for the company of another person. A total of over 20,000 people received help. As the friend visitor activities celebrated their 60th anniversary, President Sauli Niinistö thanked the thousands of volunteers involved in the Red Cross friend visitor activities.
 
Elvi Immonen and Virve Mertanen live close to each other and meet approximately twice a month. Photo: Joonas Brandt
 
 
On 15 March 2019, one of the worst tropical cyclones of all time in the Southern Hemisphere landed in Mozambique. The Red Cross was among the first to help the victims of Cyclone Idai. The Finnish Red Cross sent aid workers and supplies. Together with the Canadian Red Cross, we also sent a field hospital and a cholera treatment unit.
 
Extreme weather phenomena and natural disasters are increasing with the rise in global temperatures. These disasters cause the most suffering to the poorest people in the world, who also have the least influence on climate change. The Red Cross prioritises those who are most vulnerable in its work on the climate crisis as well. 
 
Technician Janne Mäkisalo worked to get electricity for the local health care facility and the Red Cross field hospital. Photo: Saara Mansikkamäki / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
During the year, we helped hundreds of people who lost their homes in fires in Finland. The largest of these aid operations was the fire of Keskuskartano in Pori in May. The Voluntary Rescue Service (Vapepa), coordinated by the Red Cross, assisted the authorities in finding a missing person every other day on average.
 
Joint exercise of the Voluntary Rescue Service in Turku. Photo: Jussi Vierimaa / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
Volunteers were on duty at thousands of events around Finland, especially in the summer. In addition to first aid, the volunteers carried out sexual health and substance abuse work in festival areas. The Red Cross and Ilosaarirock also began work to eliminate sexual harassment at festivals.
 
Saara Sahlsted and Rami Kujanpää on first aid duty in Helsinki on May Day Eve. Photo: Leena Koskela / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
Hurricane Dorian, which struck the Bahamas on Sunday 1 September, destroyed or partially destroyed an estimated 45 per cent of buildings on Grand Bahama and the Abaco islands. The Finnish Red Cross sent a logistics unit to help the victims of the storm. Aid workers organised the delivery of aid supplies on the islands, which were in immense need of emergency relief.
 
Logistician Juha Niininen surrounded by aid supplies. Photo: Maria Santto / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
On Hunger Day, thousands of helpers came together again for humanity across Finland, as funds were raised for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help people in need. 
 
Sonja and Roosa collected in Helsinki. Photo: Maria Santto / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
The Kuopio emergency response centre was alerted about an act of violence at the facilities of the Savo Vocational College at 12.29 on Tuesday 1 October. Red Cross volunteers carried out approximately 1,100 hours of work within a period of six days, during which time psychosocial support was provided to a total of approximately 400 people. The Red Cross preparedness group of psychologists was also invited to Kuopio to help people shocked by the act of violence.
 
Volunteers provided psychosocial support throughout the city to people shocked by the act of violence in Kuopio. Pictured here is Katja Räsänen. Photo: Anna-Katri Hänninen / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
In the national Pisara 2019 preparedness exercise, the Finnish Red Cross trained for potential domestic water crises. The theme of the exercise was a water crisis because clean water is essential for everyone.
 
Volunteers Sari Salmi and Jari Vuorijoki made the rounds visiting the residents of Turku Student Village to survey the situation in the event of a possible water crisis. Kim Duong at the door of her apartment. Photo: Jussi Vierimaa / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
The Finnish Red Cross continued its development cooperation in places such as Myanmar, where public health care is weak, especially in remote villages. The focus of the health work is on volunteers living in the local communities, who are trained by the Red Cross on the main themes of health education as well as first aid and volunteer work, among other things. 
 
In honour of the Red Nose Day, journalist and author Matti Rönkä got the opportunity to get to know the work of the Red Cross. Photo: Benjamin Suomela / Finnish Red Cross
 
 
Over 100,000 children in Finland live in low-income families. Together with the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, we organised the Good Holiday Spirit collection to ease the Christmas of 28,000 low-income families with children by offering food vouchers. The collection was organised for the 23rd time.
 
Ahmadi Habibollah donated to Marja Lehtimäki's box at the Good Holiday Spirit opening event at Helsinki Railway Square. Photo: Benjamin Suomela / Finnish Red Cross
 
...And much, much more. Find your own way to help as a volunteer or by donating. We are happy to have you with us!