Voluntary service is not merely a task or an obligation; it is a calling, a God-given purpose, and a way of life that reflects our core values as citizens and Pacific Islanders.
This was the sentiment echoed by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere while delivering his address at the Fiji Red Cross Society 50th Anniversary and International Volunteer Day celebrations held at the State House.
Katonivere says voluntary service embodies our collective responsibility to care for one another, extend a helping hand to those in need, and build a more just and equitable society.
He praised the volunteers and said their service extends far beyond emergency response.
He says they have played a pivotal role in promoting health education, providing community support and empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.
Katonivere says throughout numerous floods, cyclones, and unyielding demand for blood, the Fiji Red Cross Society, provided much-needed unwavering support.
He says a vital part of the Red Cross is its volunteers, for without volunteers there is no Red Cross.
The President acknowledged the many volunteers who remain true to the call to serve, personifying the Red Cross' humanitarianism and the spirit of always being there, when the need arises.
He says the service provided by these volunteers extends far beyond emergency response and they have played a pivotal role in promoting health education, providing community support, and empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.
Katonivere says the volunteers have become the important link to families, to their communities and for some simply a way to express their thoughts which seemed very abstract but reflected a glimpse of hope from the difficult and chaotic situations that they were in.
Katonivere further says while he is aware that the passing of the Fiji Red Cross Society Law with consultations currently underway would be the ultimate gift, he is comforted knowing that efforts are already in motion.
He says this legislation will provide a much-needed framework for the auxiliary role Fiji Red Cross provides to the Coalition Government, in further enhancing disaster preparedness and response, and strengthening the Red Cross' ability to serve our communities.
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