In May 2018, the Red Cross Society of China launched an ambitious new initiative to provide one million volunteers with bicycles so that they can better reach isolated and vulnerable communities in China. Dubbed the “Volunteers on Wheels” project, the initiative is the result of a partnership between the Red Cross Society of China and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), with support from the Chinese government.
“One of our main goals with Volunteers on Wheels is to promote global voluntary services, mobilise partners, and connect people together to provide better humanitarian care to the last mile,” said Dr. Zhu Chen, President of the Red Cross Society of China.
The project will also allow volunteers to provide better humanitarian services in countries along the ‘Belt and Road’ route, which connects Asia with Europe and Africa.
A signing ceremony was organized as a side event of the 10th Asia Pacific Red Cross Conference in Manila between the Red Cross Society of China, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and 6/10 Red Cross National Societies present at the Conference engaged in the first batch of the project – Afghanistan Red Crescent, Indonesian Red Cross, Myanmar Red Cross, Pakistan Red Crescent, Thai Red Cross, and Vietnam Red Cross. The Red Cross Society of China, Mongolian Red Cross, Malaysian Red Cross are those have already started the implementation of the project.
|Mr. Tran Quoc Hung, Vice President (fourth from left) representing the Vietnam Red Cross at the signing ceremony of Volunteers on the Wheels project
Handing over of the project symbol from the back-donor to the Red Cross Society of China
The project will last for 5 years, aiming not only at providing bicycles for volunteers, as a tool to reach remote communities, but also equip them with neccessary knowledge and skills. The VoW Project is not an isolated independent new project. It shall be implemented to enhance current activities of implementing partners in first aid, road safety, community disaster preparedness, health prevention, social inclusion, social home care.
Ha Lan Anh