The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) is holding a three-day General Assembly and Annual General Meeting to, among other things, determine the general policy of the organization and review its performance over the past year.
The General Assembly, which is the highest decision making body of the organization, is composed of delegates from all the 10 regions of Ghana who would elect a new president and other members of the governing board to spearhead affairs of the GRCS.
Professor Kwabena Mante-Bosompem, National President of the GRCS, at a session on Thursday, said the organization had over the years played tremendous roles in offering humanitarian services in and outside the country.
He said even though the organization was challenged financially, it was committed to sustaining its fundamental principles of ensuring higher standards of service and maintaining its impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality of services to all humanity.
He said the theme for the meeting: “Applying Business Models for Humanitarian Service Delivery in Ghana Red Cross,” highlighted the need for innovative ways of mobilizing local funding for its operation and activities.
According to him, this would help to change the existing trend of over-reliance on foreign donor support for its operations.
Prof. Mante-Bosompem said although the GRCS was established by an Act of Parliament as a very important organization in the provision of humanitarian and relief services, it was losing its attractiveness to the youth with regards to volunteerism.
He said volunteerism was gradually losing its meaning to the youth due to poverty and the current unavailability of jobs and that those who volunteered their services should know the implications and must not anticipate some monetary reward at a point in time of their services.
Prof. Mante-Bosompem said the GRCS, as an auxiliary of Government in the provision of humanitarian and relief services, had always been among the first to respond to emergencies and cases of vulnerability ranging from floods, conflicts, famine and bush fires.
It has also been at the front line during community mobilization for health promotion, community-based first aid and promotion of international humanitarian law, he said.
He said the organisation was present in over 120 districts in Ghana, had offices in all the 10 regional capitals and at least about 60,000 volunteers nationwide.
He said the GRCS was also partner to several local and international organizations such as the National Road Safety Commission, Ghana Health Service, Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority, UNICEF, the National Disaster Management Organisation and the World Health Organisation in carrying out missions to alleviate human suffering.
The General Assembly unanimously agreed on an amendment of its constitution to incorporate past national presidents and ex-officio members in order to tap into their rich experiences.