I had many wonderful opportunities as a college student to both learn and instruct with the American Red Cross and our IHL Action Campaigns. It was a structured way to engage my peers in something that had a global meaning; this really appealed to me. In my opinion, the interactive way in which IHL activities are conducted is the perfect teacher for humanitarian values! After graduating I am very grateful to be able to continue volunteering with my local chapter in creating new IHL activities. I know I continue to stay involved with humanitarian education because it has in fact changed my life. It continuously proves to me that even though the world is large, complex, and at many times horrifying, I can and do have a place in making it a little bit smaller, understandable, and better. I cannot truly understand the many struggles people around the world face daily, but after taking part in 2 major campaigns and numerous other IHL activities, I understand that one person’s voice, or a team’s voice, can send ripples through a community that might one day make a difference. I know it is hard to have such hope for the future when campaigns and activities come and go each year, but I always wonder which of the participants will remember certain things I said later in their lives, and how they will choose to act with that information in mind. That hope is enough for me to continue with humanitarian education!
Author: Sarah Gangl, American Red Cross Volunteer.
*This story was submitted for the Humanitarian Education Storytelling Campaign launched by the American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.