Better shelter for Sri Lanka’s displaced

Following the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2010, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society began a housing and livelihoods project in the northern part of the country to support the most vulnerable of the displaced people, who can now finally return to their homelands. The programme focuses on individuals such as Fathima, a mother of five who lost her home and husband during the conflict. She has lived in a temporary camp with her family for more than 20 years. “The concept of a home was an illusion to us. We never thought this conflict would come to an end and that we would stop running from one place to another,” says Fathima, who can now live in one of 21,000 homes provided with support from the IFRC, the government of India and other sources.

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What happens when machines can decide who to kill?

It’s the stuff of science fiction: machines that make decisions about who and when to kill. Referred to as “autonomous weapons”, they’re already in use to some degree. But as more sophisticated systems are being developed we wanted to an expert in the field about whether such systems comply with international humanitarian law and what it means for humanity to give machines the power over human life and death.

‘Wildfire diaries’ and radical change in communications

In this episode, we talk with humanitarian communicator Kathy Mueller who produced our first magazine podcast series, The Wildfire Diaries, about massive wildfires in Northern Canada in 2017. We talk about that series, her many international missions, and the big changes in humanitarian communications since she began with the Canadian Red Cross almost 20 years ago.

The power of storytelling

In this episode, we talk about the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. “Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of human communication,” says our guest Prodip, a volunteer and multi-media storyteller for the Bangladesh Red Crescent. “It inspires us to be a hero of our own community.” We also speak with one such community hero, Dalal al-Taji, a longtime volunteer and advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities in emergencies response. “In disasters. persons with disabilities sometimes get forgotten.”

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When lightning strikes twice (or even three times)

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing a critical examination of how communities and countries prepare for multiple, overlapping crises. Here are a few lessons the Japanese Red Cross Society learned after the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown ten years ago this month.

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