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Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)
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Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Strategic Inventions and Response
Protection, gender and inclusion
Fundamental Principles of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society
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The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is the quickest, most efficient and most transparent way of getting funding directly to local humanitarian actors—both before and immediately after a crisis hits.
Every year, small and medium-sized disasters occur in silence. Without media attention or international visibility, they can struggle to attract funding—putting affected communities at risk of being completely neglected.
To support these smaller disasters, or to provide initial funding before launching an Emergency Appeal, we rapidly channel funding to Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies through the DREF—enabling them to deliver fast and effective local humanitarian action.
The Red Cross is quite a unique humanitarian player, locally and globally. National Societies are recognized by all Governments as auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field. In our case, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society was established through an Act of Parliament in 1981 as an auxiliary to the Government of Zimbabwe’s humanitarian interventions.
In the face of rising global challenges, simply responding to crises is no longer enough. Forecast-based Action by the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (FbA by the DREF) is our dedicated funding mechanism that helps National Societies take early action before disasters strike.
FbA by the DREF is a fast, reliable and efficient way of getting money to Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in anticipation of disasters. It helps them save lives and reduce, or even prevent, the damage and losses caused by disasters on communities.
FbA by the DREF uses a forecast-based financing approach. Based on meteorological forecasts and risk analysis, we agree funding to National Societies for early action in advance of a predicted hazard. Money is then released automatically when pre-defined forecast thresholds or ‘triggers’ are met.
Natural hazards are naturally occurring physical phenomena. They can be:
The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) seeks to explore how to grow the medical and pharmaceutical businesses so as to strike a balance of a financially self-sustaining humanitarian player through provision of low-cost high quality affordable medical and pharmaceutical services to the Zimbabwean populace.
Currently, the ZRCS runs a medical Clinic situated at Red Cross House, number 98 Cameron Street which the National Society assumed management from the 1st of July 2016.
The clinic has been identified as one of the National Society’s key income generating projects for self-sustenance whilst simultaneously fulfilling its social protection mandate by providing quality affordable healthcare to the population.
Centrally located in the central business district of Harare, the clinic is essentially a low-cost primary healthcare facility offering quality medical services at significantly low, affordable rates compared to other private and public healthcare institutions.
Occupying 1st and 2nd floors at five storey Red Cross House, with a staff establishment of 29 regular employees and 20 being locum, the Clinic operates from Monday to Friday (0800 hours to 1700 hours) and Saturdays (0800 hours to 1500 hours)
The following medical services are being offered at the clinic:
The expansion of the Clinic into a Hospital will greatly expand the scope of social enterprise as we seek to avail quality affordable medical services to the community.
The long term vision is to provide specialised services for our clientele which under normal circumstances are not able to afford such due to prohibitive costs. We are seeking to be the bridge between the public sector were costs are affordable but limited resources and private sector with all the resources but services out reach to many. This aims to aid the country in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals particularly goal number 3 by providing universal access to quality health care.
The aim is to expand already existing services and add more services to those being offered currently by the clinic.
The first aim is to convert into a fully-fledged hospital which has all the services of a specialised hospital. This allows us to fulfil our client’s desire to access all healthcare services under one roof.
With the trusted Red Cross brand and favourable pricing model, the Red Cross Clinic and healthcare projects are poised for major growth. The Society plans to leverage on the success of the Harare Clinic and proposed Hospital to duplicate this model in other provinces country wide.
Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has been implementing the various programs in different thematic areas during the previous Strategic Plan. The period from 2015 to 2020 saw the National Society proving to be capable and technically prepared to respond to disasters, and provide health livelihood interventions to respond to challenges faced by vulnerable communities throughout Zimbabwe. The goal was to build healthy, secure, and resilient communities, which was achieved by implementing activities under three core program areas:
The ZRCS established a corporate sector subsidiary model that generates alternative revenue for the organisation, towards sustainability. The projects are self-sustaining and contribute to the overall core- funding mechanism of the organisation.
ZRCS High School is record as one of its kind in the region among NSs. In 2020 the school recorded 100% ‘A’ Level pass rate and 58 % for ‘O’ Level. The school’s catchment area has become national with students coming from all province. The enrolment is high and the growth is being limited by lack of resources and facilities. It has 356 students. In 2018 at Humanitarian Education in Africa Conference in Kenya Robert Kofman (American) showed some interest in supporting the project. The learners are well versed with the Red Cross Movement fundamental principles and they are taught about volunteerism and importance of first aid.
This is one of the ZRCS best practice in which they are reaching out to the community and at the same time generating income for the organisation towards self-sustenance. The clinic is run as a Strategic Business Unit (SBU) of Zimbabwe Reds Cross that was created to fund the National Society. It was taken over from the Iranian Red Crescent in 2017.The clinic has managed to create employment for medical staff and volunteers from the community. There is a vision to roll out Red Cross Clinics to other provinces
To become a dynamic voluntary organisation which leads in the satisfaction of humanitarian needs and promoting human dignity of the most vulnerable groups.
To provide timely, appropriate and acceptable humanitarian service to the most vulnerable groups through well managed programmes in Health and Social services, Disaster Management, Food Security and Livelihoods, Water and Sanitation, Restoration of Family Links, Organisational Development as well as First Aid and Nurse Aide training.
AN ACT to constitute the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society as the national Red Cross Society for the purposes of the Geneva Conventions; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.
This Act may be cited as the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Act [Chapter 17:08].
“Branch” means the branch of the British Red Cross Society which was in existence in Zimbabwe as a voluntary association immediately before the 2nd October, 1981 and which carried on its activities under the name “Zimbabwe Red Cross”;
“Executive Council” means the Executive Council of the Society established by section eight;
“General Assembly” means the General Assembly of the Society referred to in section nine;
“Geneva Conventions” means the Conventions set out in the First, Second, Third and Fourth Schedules to the Geneva Conventions Act [Chapter 11:06];
“rules” means rules made by the Executive Council or the General Assembly in terms of section nine;
“Society” means the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society established by section three
There is hereby established a society, to be known as the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, which shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name and, subject to this Act, of performing all acts that bodies corporate may by law perform.
Central to the achievement of the mission, the organisation will uphold the following values:
The Fundamental Principles are an expression of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s values and practices. They were developed based on the Movement’s experience responding to suffering and needs over the previous century. The Fundamental Principles are at once operational and aspirational. They serve both as a guide for action and as the Movement’s common identity and purpose.
The Fundamental Principles guide the work and decisions of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement for all Red Cross Red Crescent workers in all situations and at all times.
Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, the seven Fundamental Principles bond together the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. They guarantee the continuity of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and its humanitarian work.
In 2015, National Societies, the IFRC and the ICRC will come together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Fundamental Principles. The commemoration not only to celebrates this remarkable milestone, but also is an opportunity to share experiences and to learn from one another, and to reassert the contemporary relevance and importance of the Fundamental Principles.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.
To all our distinguished partners, friends and with special mention to the communities that we serve in our beautiful Zimbabwe, I wish to share with you our new Strategic plan, which will give direction to our programmes in the next five years. The basis of this Strategic Plan is in ZRCS’s vision of becoming a dynamic voluntary relief organization promoting human dignity. This vision is encapsulated in the global International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) 2030 Strategy under three domains of change namely:
The development of the Strategic Plan was a major task. I believe its implementation to be both challenging in responding to emerging disasters and global pandemics such as the COVID-19, and yet rewarding through the impact we will make. As the organisation, we now have a vigorous and clear Strategic Plan to guide our work in transforming our organization and the lives of vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe. We are also well-positioned to take a leading role in the humanitarian spaces around the country, and contribute to regional response. The implementation of the Strategic Plan must continue to reflect our vision and renewed focus on efficiency and sustainability. Subsequently, the organisation is moving from focusing on processes and outputs to being more outcome and impact-oriented. Thus, the implementation of this Strategic Plan will benefit the organisation through reducing shortcuts and loopholes in our work, increase funding opportunities, and establishing long term partnerships and enhance transparency and accountability of our work.
Our new Strategic Plan is strongly aligned to national development strategies, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and this is a result of internal and external stakeholder consultative and participatory processes, which started in April 2021 through May 2021. Internally, we organised meetings at Branch level, Provincial Level, up to the Head office, and externally the consultant interviewed Participating National Societies, and other strategic partners. The feedback received throughout this process was extremely positive in the development of the Strategic Plan.
The Strategic Plan 2021-2025 is an ambitious document because it repositions ZRCS as the biggest humanitarian organisation in Zimbabwe. Our ambition is a reflection of our commitment to address humanitarian challenges in the country, and explore new opportunities to achieve measurable impact wherever we have our presence, including through strategic partnerships and active participation in national development processes.
The Strategic Plan 2021-2025 represents a rejuvenated spirit! A new Zimbabwe Red Cross Society. Together we can make a difference.
I wish to congratulate and endorse the unveiling of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Strategic Plan 2021-2025, which will be our corner stone in the next 5 years. I recognize its solid foundation in communities, organizational development and impact-oriented and the needs of people. The Strategic Plan’s ambition has set out to achieve and fulfil ZRCS mission, vision and purpose. The Strategic Plan encourage the ZRCS approach of embedding sustainable implementation practices, support the ambition to focus knowledge management on efforts to harness expertise for integrated service offerings, and specialized solutions, based on realized or anticipated demand towards specific goals and operational contexts. I endorse ZRCS’ commitment to engage more strategically with the Government of Zimbabwe, International Development partners, the Donor Community, Private Sector and communities that we serve.
The strategy enables ZRCS in its continued pursuit of organizational excellence and attention to ensuring investment to build organizational capabilities and protect its unique business model for the future. The process toward planning 2021-2025 Strategic Plan has offered us the opportunity to take stock on past successes and failures, to determine our vision and future goals in the light of challenges ahead, and to advance techniques for our improvement because of changing necessities as well as an active and participating agent to drive intellectual, social and economic changes.
The strategic themes attest to the commitment of achieving excellence through our core functions of implementing, dissemination and exchange of knowledge, as well as our duty to engage stakeholders and the community. The proposed strategies will enrich the communities as well as enhance performance with the organisation. As a lead disaster response and humanitarian organization in Zimbabwe, we shall continue to engage in results-based and impact-oriented activities in communities and uphold the principle of human dignity by promoting livelihood programs in vulnerable communities. Through engagement with the public, ZRCS will better articulate, develop and communicate its identity consistent with our vision in order to engage with the community in understanding our goals and sharing our achievements.
The 2021-2025 Strategic Plan represents the concerted guidance and recommendations of ZRCS stakeholders and partners, whose valuable input has been incorporated in this document. Let me take this opportunity to thank all of them for giving ZRCS so much food for thought during the process of consultation and drafting of the Strategic Plan. I am sure that, with the collaboration of our skilled staff, stakeholders and partners, the goals we aspire to accomplish will in time translate into milestones of which we can be all proud of. I invite you to join hands with us and help to maintain ZRCS’s mandate while cultivating its further developments. On behalf of the ZRCS Governing Board, may I thank you heartily for being part of a leading humanitarian organization.
Your time and talent can make a real difference in people's lives.
Volunteering has been a part of our network since we the foundation of the Red Cross Movement 150 years ago. And up to this day, voluntary service—helping others without desire for personal gain—remains one of our Fundamental Principles guiding everything we do.
Volunteers carry out 90 percent of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. As Red Cross, we pride ourselves in always being the first in and last out in any emergency due to our wide network of volunteers who live and serve their own communities. They help victims of disaster, provide care and comfort to ill and injured, teach others lifesaving skills such as First Aid , help in building community resilience and much more.
“They are our strength. They are what define us. And they help make the world a safer and more peaceful place every single day.”
The need for volunteers has never been greater as larger and more intense disasters happen across the country due to our changing climate.
Becoming a volunteer with the Red Cross isn’t just about giving back to your community. It’s also about learning new skills, making lifelong friends and being a part of the world’s biggest humanitarian network striving to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Turn tragedy into hope by donating your time and skills.
As a direct support to the formal education initiative, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, ZRCS, runs a Red Cross High School on a full time basis and the school acts a model for all Disaster Risk Reduction and Youth related programming. The Red Cross High School which was established in 2015 with the thrust of offering quality formal education to orphaned and vulnerable children as well as resource mobilization. The School, situated in Harare has an enrolment of both day and boarding scholars from form1-6 who are from diverse social backgrounds who pay termly fees for sustainability.
The School is registered under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (Reg. No IC/HARARE/526/15) and is an accredited Zimbabwe Schools Examination Centre. It is located at Red Cross owned facility, number 165 Kambuzuma Drive, Westwood in Harare Metropolitan.
The School’s Mission is “to provide premium and inclusive education and lifelong survival skills to the young and needy in Zimbabwe” This statement is a legacy of the humanitarian imperative which supported the school’s origin and fit in the model of community development-oriented schools.
To achieve this, the School is paying close attention to innovative ideas that might motivate students, make learning more relevant, increase deep learning, and provide students with new types of programs and new ways of teaching and learning.
Through the school, students are inculcated with the Red Cross ideology, principles as well as orientation to the humanitarian sphere.
Establishment of Red Cross Clubs at the School where students meet on a weekly basis and are specifically taught about Red Cross Fundamental Principles, ideology and humanitarianism in general. This has seen the birth of a replica partner clubs in other schools where they regularly interact through exchange programmes.
The school has so far started using IT updates as new resources for learning, e.g. interactive boards, or the online courses including some free Red Cross courses on the E-learning platform where participant is issued a free certificate. This platform can help reinforce knowledge of the RC movement issues such as IHL, First Aid, Red Cross principles. This is a Red Cross niche which is not provided in all learning institutions.
The School has also partnered with other schools through exchange programmes so that the students get exposure on the different contexts such as those in rural areas so that they can share experiences.
The School is involved in various outreach and in reach experiences that enables the students to better provide a more “authentic” education experience. Examples of powerful outreach experiences occur when students are provided with internships in local health clinics and hospitals, schools and colleges, social work agencies. “In reach” experiences - outside visitors brought to the school to talk with students about careers and experiences – is also a powerful way to connect students to the outside world. These are all available in the Red Cross programming.
Besides all the other academic subjects, the school has a more emphasis on “Catching them Young” as deliberate lessons on humanitarian principles are taught and the students are involved in various community projects
Exchange programmes with Partner National Societies where students are supported to attend Youth leadership training courses in other countries such as Denmark and Finland has resulted in a positive cross pollination of ideas as the students share their experiences with their peers.
Partnerships include with key government departments such as the Ministry of Education on the Red Cross High School and for the ZRCS to carry out and promote Humanitarian Education activities within schools using the Red Cross School experience as a model. The latest partnership for ZRCS is on Youth for Sport to ensure health promotion and talent development with Sports and Recreation Commission.
All this is supported by legislation as the Zimbabwe Red Cross Act number 30 of 1981 gives the National Society mandate to inspire boys and girls of school going age with the ideals, knowledge, skills and attitudes of the Red Cross Movement.
Donate today to support humanitarian work around Zimbabwe. In times of crisis, we meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable. Help enable a rapid response to disasters. Your contribution can make a difference.
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