As part of our Jubilee celebrations and following on from the official opening of the Henry Dunant Building by HM Queen Sonja, we put together a special programme on the morning of Tuesday 22nd September which focused on UWC RCN’s partnership with the Norwegian Red Cross and the Rehabilitation Centre.

The session was launched with a superb lecture on the migrant crisis in Europe and the role of the Red Cross by Sven Mollekleiv, President of the Norwegian Red Cross – to a packed auditorium of students, staff, Jubilee guests, plus patients and staff from the Rehabilitation Centre. Liv Ronglan (RCN Board Member and representative of the Norwegian Red Cross) and Emma du Marchie Sarvaas (Student Council Red Cross Rep) gave an engaging introduction to the Seven Principles of the Red Cross and the current partnership between the College and the Red Cross. Professor Jurg Kesselring (one of the five committee members of the ICRC) gave an introduction to Henry Dunant (the founder of the Red Cross – please click here for a link to the biography hanging in the entrance of the Dunant Building) and was followed by Max Deneu (Director of the Special Fund for the Disabled) who gave us an insight into both the global projects of the SFD and its ambitions for inclusivity for those with disabilities.

All participants in the programme were invited to participate in workshops with the Red Cross representatives. Workshops included: first aid; an introduction to working as an ‘Arms and Violence’ advisor; Living the Red Cross Principles; working as a delegate in the field; the migrant crisis; an introduction to the College’s Survivors of Conflict Programme.

The programme ended with  a session for first years on the role of the Sogn og Fjordane Red Cross and an introduction to the RCN Diploma.

The Red Cross definitely remains an important part of our identity – with shared values and philosophy at the heart of our work – and it was hugely enjoyable to celebrate this partnership and the 150th anniversary of the Norwegian Red Cross. Sven Mollekleiv gave, on behalf of the Norwegian Red Cross, a picture and a red bench to RCN as an anniversary gift.

We look forward to developing this partnership in the years to come with the Red Cross right at the heart of UWC RCN’s Strategy 2020. For we aim to forge a mutually beneficial partnership at regional and national levels – and the wider Red Cross movement.