Giving to others, giving meaning to each day

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only bringing people together. It’s motivating them to join volunteer groups that allow anyone to take quick and meaningful action.


Malcolm Lucard
Irina Ruano

REON Studio

The Covid-19 pandemic affects everyone. It is universal in a way unlike almost any recent natural disaster or health crisis. No wonder that we see an unprecedented level of solidarity, humanity and unity as ordinary people who have never done voluntary humanitarian work before are inspired to take action, helping neighbors and strangers alike.

One of those new volunteers is Angela, a mother of two from Florence, Italy who was able to jumpstart her desire to help her fellow Florentines through a new, expedited volunteer training course offered by the Italian Red Cross. “The desire to be a volunteer had been with me for some time,” says Angela, who now sees her daily food and medicine deliveries for elderly people as a gift for herself as well. “I see that it really gives a meaning to my day and it’s exciting.”

Volunteers around the world are working to ensure that families in high vulnerability are able to cover their basic needs by delivering food, medicine and other essential products.


Ludovica also joined the group of temporary volunteers from Italian Red Cross. She always had the desire of volunteering, but for different reasons she didn’t pursued the option at that time. When the Coronavirus outbreak arrived to Italy, she decided that it was the perfect moment to volunteer. “When I started my grandmother asked me why was i joining, putting myself at risk. But I put myself in the shoes of those who may not have a person close by, and that’s why I decided to volunteer”.

In life Ludovica works in an IT research and development company. Now, she volunteers as a receptionist in a facility for COVID-19 patients.


Before the lockdown measures in Italy started to ease, volunteers like Marco delivered medicine and other essential products to people considered in high risk, like the elderly. He says that people waited for them as if that was the most important event of the day. “When they see us coming as Red Cross volunteers, they’re very happy and show us their appreciation, so this is very rewarding”. For Marco, volunteering has changed him and has made him believe that if humans are able to dream about a different world, then they are able to make it happen.

Marco has lived for 13 years in Florence, where he became a lawyer, where he found love, and where he is now volunteering to support those in need.



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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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