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“Every euro raised in a city goes to local activities”

The cross : You are launching your annual fundraiser from May 14 to 22. What does this collection represent for the Red Cross?

Philip DaCosta: These national days are a very important moment for the Red Cross because it is an opportunity for our volunteers to meet the public in the street. You should know that, even if we receive subsidies, 42% of our associative activities are made possible by the generosity of the public. In 2020, for example, we received 106 million euros in donations and legacies, a small part of which comes from these fundraising days.

The particularity is that the volunteers beg to finance the activities of their local unit. So every euro raised in a city goes to activities in that city.

→ PORTRAIT. Philippe Da Costa, an education enthusiast at the head of the Red Cross

For us, it is also an opportunity to communicate about the Red Cross. Because if the general public knows our relief activity, they know less about everything we do on a daily basis.

What is the core of your activities today?

CDP: We always apply the “prevention/education, protection, recovery” triptych to all of our activities: emergency, health, social and medico-social action and international solidarity. But we have changed things. Our associative project aims to better prepare our fellow citizens to face crises and relies on innovation.

For example, on the prevention side, we have set up buses that go to meet the public, in neighborhoods or rural areas, to carry out screening or awareness-raising actions in the field of health. We have also developed French as a foreign language courses.

→ READ. Migrants, at the Red Cross reunion office

We are also working on lifelong commitment by offering “Red Cross options” in certain colleges and high schools, where students can learn the gestures that save, discover the values ​​of commitment, international humanitarian law … Today, 30 establishments offer this type of option. We would like to increase this figure tenfold in the next three years.

In terms of interventions, the Red Cross movement is present in almost all crises in the world. In France, we still have a very important training activity: we train 60,000 people a year in first aid at the PSC1 level and those who wish can improve their skills.

As we will be called upon for major sporting events, we will need to strengthen the teams: we would like to have 3,000 to 5,000 more first aiders in the next two years, in addition to the current 10,000. Intervention techniques are also being developed, for example by developing refrigerated tents to better accommodate victims in the event of a heat wave.

Finally, we are still present in more than 600 establishments that help people in difficulty, from crèches to retirement homes, including social children’s homes and establishments linked to the management of disabilities. Here too, we innovate. For example, for establishments receiving the elderly, we are very careful to maintain a quality of care, but we also try to bring them into contact with other generations. In Nantes, an autonomy residence also includes a crèche and a parental centre.

The Red Cross is also very present on the Ukrainian crisis…

CDP: On site, the International Committee of the Red Cross took charge of the humanitarian component. We, the French Red Cross, transported nearly 700 tonnes of material to Ukraine.

We should also open two delegations in Romania and Moldova, which receive many displaced people, to help the local Red Cross in their missions. In France, we have welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainians, in stations, reception centres, humanitarian hubs, trains… In connection with the prefectures, we have also helped to find accommodation, distributed basic necessities or carried out health consultations…

In 15 days, we set up “Hello Red Cross”, a digital platform, coupled with a telephone platform, where displaced people and their caregivers can obtain all the information on their rights, and the places where they can find help. help, in French, Ukrainian, Russian and English.