The Red Cross idea was born in 1859, when Jean Henry Dunant, a young Swiss businessman, came upon the scene of a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy, between the armies of imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian alliance. Some 40,000 men lay dead or dying on the battlefield and the wounded were lacking medical attention.
Dunant organized local people to bind the soldiers' wounds and to feed and comfort them. On his return, he called for the creation of national relief societies to assist those wounded in war, and pointed the way to the future Geneva Conventions.
"Would there not be some means, during a period of peace and calm, of forming relief societies whose object would be to have the wounded cared for in time of war by enthusiastic, devoted volunteers, fully qualified for the task?" he wrote.
The Red Cross was born in 1863 when five Geneva men, including Dunant, set up the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, later to become the International Committee of the Red Cross. Its emblem was a red cross on a white background: the inverse of the Swiss flag. The following year, 12 governments adopted the first Geneva Convention; a milestone in the history of humanity, offering care for the wounded, and defining medical services as "neutral" on the battlefield.
Volunteer Service Office handles programs aim at encouraging people to become an army of volunteers of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) by sharing their resources, time, and efforts to alleviate human suffering. It takes active charge of the administration, development, growth, and effective mobilization of volunteers in all aspects of PRC services within the chapter’s jurisdiction in particular and/or the whole country.
While this office delivers its service through recruitment, engagement and retention of volunteers, it also gives recognition to the outstanding individuals who rendered significant contribution to the organization.
The delivery of essential services of the PRC is powered by the committed service of volunteers who unselfishly devotes time, energy, and resources in serving humanity.
Red Cross 143 is a community-based volunteering program of the Philippine Red Cross where one leader and a minimum of forty three (43) members form part of an active corps of capable, caring, and committed individuals. RC 143 promotes a culture of self-help in the communities by developing a formidable network of Red Cross volunteers who will predict potential risk, plan, prepare, and practice for effective community based disaster risk reduction.