Celebration: Celebrating Red Cross Youth Month

October is Red Cross Youth (RCY) Month to focus on the vital role of young Filipinos in nation-building and in the programs of its mother agency, the Philippine Red Cross. The RCY is the youth arm of the Red Cross that educates children and young people and provides them a venue to use their skills and talents in worthwhile activities with the organization.

The celebration theme is “Stronger Red Youth for Stronger Philippine Red Cross.” It showcases the works of volunteers and invites more young people to join the RCY. The annual search for Ten Most Outstanding Red Cross Youth members who excel in leadership and humanitarian services recognizes exceptional volunteers chosen for their connection in local and national events. RYC holds the Million Volunteer Run to mobilize the youth for skills formation.

The RCY motto is “I Serve.” Its four major objectives are: Inculcation of humanitarian values, instilling the practice of a healthy lifestyle, enhancing youth leadership skills through service delivery, and advocating national/international friendship. An agreement between the Red Cross and the Department of Education was signed on February 14, 2008, organizing RCY Councils in public elementary and secondary schools. RCY members are students aged seven to 25, who are trained by teacher-advisers on basil leadership, first aid, life support, drug addiction prevention, and disaster management.  Members share talents and skills in youth camps.

In 1917, the Philippine Red Cross and its youth program were placed under the American Red Cross. In 1922, the RYC was recognized by Resolution No. XVIII of the General Council of League of Red Cross Societies, and in 1923, the Youth Bureau was created. The First World Conference of Educators strengthened teachers’ participation in RYC. In 1935, 51 countries, including the Philippines, had youth organizations with 15 million members. From 1922 to 1941, the RYC dental service reached out to Filipino school children. In 1946, the service was turned over to the government and became an integral part of Filipino child health. In 1946, the first enrollment in RYC under the new Philippine Republic was held, focusing on health, service, and friendship. The decade 1961-1970 increased the enrollment to four million in 12,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools. The program for college students started in 1969.

We congratulate the Philippine Red Cross Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard J. Gordon, Vice Chairman Amelita S. Navarro, and Secretary General Gwendolyn T. Pang, and Red Cross Youth President Allan P. Claveria and Manager Radnir Arandia, for working together to harness skills and values of children and youth, by getting them in humanitarian and community services in our Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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