This month it is 20 years since the start of the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone and Land Rover is supporting the Red Cross in helping those affected to recover and build a brighter future for themselves. There remains an urgent and pressing need in Sierra Leone, in the aftermath of the 11-year conflict which claimed more than 50,000 lives, devastated communities and left many more physically and emotionally traumatised. Land Rover and the Red Cross have released a short film to demonstrate how the Sierra Leone Red Cross and Land Rover are working together to help young people rebuild their lives and create a more hopeful future. The hope is that the film will inspire people to support the Red Cross by donating at www.redcross.org.uk/landrover. click here for Red Cross
The effect of the war on children and young people was particularly severe, with around 17,000 having fought as 'child soldiers' most of them just teenagers, some as young as six years old. With Land Rover's support, the Sierra Leone Red Cross is able to deliver a life-changing programme called Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation (CAR), which helps some of the country's most traumatised young people, to recover and reintegrate back into society. Through the CAR programme, Land Rover and the Red Cross are providing young people with counselling support, basic education and vocational training, as well ensuring they are accepted and reintegrated within their community. Thanks to Land Rover's support the Sierra Leone Red Cross is able to run five CAR centres across the country, helping 12,600 vulnerable young people per year, and has just recently opened a new centre in Moyamba district.
Land Rover has been supporting the Sierra Leone Red Cross since 2008 when it donated eight 4x4 vehicles to help them reach remote and vulnerable communities across Sierra Leone. Through the new global partnership with the IFRC launched in 2010, Land Rover is continuing to provide vital funding for the Sierra Leone Red Cross to reach 85,000 vulnerable people over the next three years. In addition to the CAR programme, Land Rover is also supporting the Community Animated Peace Support (CAPS) programme, which encourages communities to work together and build peace through participating in communal development activities. Land Rover's support will help people and communities across Sierra Leone to secure food and clean water, set up learning opportunities for young people and adults and promote community cohesion. In just six months the Red Cross has been able to deliver farming management training and distribute seeds, tools and goats to the communities to help them build sustainable livelihoods. Land Rover has provided over £3.5 million worth of support to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) since 2007
As well as the work being done in Sierra Leone, there are other valuable and successful Land Rover and Red Cross programmes under way around the world as part of the 'Reaching Vulnerable People Around the World' partnership:
- Land Rover donated six Defender 110 station wagons to help the Pakistan Red Crescent Society reach out to survivors of the country's devastating floods last year. These are being used to deliver relief aid to thousands of people in some of the most remote and hardest hit communities.
- A campaign in the Netherlands saw Land Rover raise 20,000 Euros to support children affected by HIV in Kwa-zulu Natal in South Africa.
- In the UK Land Rover supported the British Red Cross, by funding defibrillators to work alongside the 30 vehicles it had donated in 2008, for first aid and emergency response duties.
- In Brazil, after the recent devastating floods and landslides, Land Rover Brazil galvanised the support of its employees, suppliers, dealerships and customers to help the Brazil Red Cross respond to the disaster. Food and clothing donation points were set up at dealerships and dealers helped the Brazilian Red Cross distribute supplies to those worst affected. Please see the following film which highlights this support at www.youtube.com. click here for You Tube
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian network with nearly 100 million members, volunteers and supporters. Together, we act before, during and after disasters and health crises to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. We do so without discrimination as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. By supporting humanitarian standards, working as partners in development, responding to disasters, and supporting healthier and safer communities, we help reduce vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience and foster a culture of peace. The IFRC, our 186 National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together constitute the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. click here for IFRC