Today on June 24th, an Antiguan and Barbudan will be representing her national society and the Caribbean region at Solferino 2020, the first virtual world-wide celebration of the founding of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
She is Nikisha Smith, volunteer Community Engagement and Accountability focal point and Board Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross (ABRC). Smith has played a pivotal role in the society’s COVID-19 response by writing and creating content for online graphics and video media to share with the community. She is one of seven volunteers from around the world -Ecuador, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Palestine and Marshall Islands – selected to share their defining moments of the movement.
Angela Hill, Communications Delegate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Country Cluster Support Team based in Trinidad, said, “Nikisha is passionate and embodies what it means to be Red Cross. She gives of her energy and time to support her community. She was a natural choice to be part of the Solferino event.”
ABRC Governing Board President Elvis Murray-Watkins said that the local Red Cross is proud of Smith being the only Caribbean invitee to participate. “She is an outstanding humanitarian…. [To her]We at the ABRC are proud of your achievement and encourage you to keep your spirt of service.”
Every year since 1995, thousands of volunteers from all over the world would gather together to celebrate in Solferino, Italy where the idea of the Red Cross was born during the battle of Solferino in 1859. For the first time in 25 years, the celebration will be done virtually for the safety and health of all participants.
The one hour long event, beginning at 7am, will consist of storytelling from volunteers around the world and a virtual lighting of the candle LIVE from Solferino square.
The concept for Solferino 2020 is #PassTheTorch, which symbolizes the efforts to carry on humanitarian efforts in spite of calamity. It will be broadcast on IFRC and Red Cross volunteer Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The event is jointly hosted by IFRC and the Italian Red Cross.