Myanmar: Teenagers Focus on First Aid

“Teenagers have the ability to help people. We are strong,” says Thae Su Aung, age 13, from her middle school in Bahan, Myanmar—just outside Yangon. Thae Su Aung knows from experience. She’s taken a basic first aid course from the Red Cross, in addition to learning light search-and-rescue. Her neighborhood and school face many threats—like snakes, scorpions, cyclones, floods, and car accidents. Thae Su Aung knows she can’t solve every crisis, but can mitigate risks by preparing for the worst, asserting, ‘’I want to be able to help my friends if they get hurt.” The teenager even taught her parents CPR skills. “My parents were surprised and happy that I gained first aid skills at school. I’m excited about what I’ve learned. I would like to share these skills with everyone!” Thae Su Aung wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

The American Red Cross works alongside the Myanmar Red Cross to prepare disaster-prone communities for cyclones, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other emergencies. We train and equip families with the tools they need to mitigate natural disaster risks and to be first responders when crises strike. In Myanmar, the American Red Cross teaches basic first aid, light search-and-rescue, and post-disaster epidemic control in 20 communities—in addition to running disaster simulations and forming village committees who step up when disasters hit. In 24 schools, we teach students basic first aid, light search-and-rescue, evacuation activities, and distribute emergency equipment—such as solar panels, fire extinguishers, megaphones, early warning speakers, first aid kits, and helmets. In Myanmar, some American Red Cross project sites are urban, while others sit in delta areas only accessible by boat.

Learn more at

Produced by Brad Zerivitz and Jenelle Eli

#redcross #myanmar

We asked refugees saved at sea: Who is the first person you want to call?

We asked refugees rescued from the Mediterranean Sea, “Who is the first person you want to call when you get to land?” And each one of them, without fail, had the same answer: “My mom.”

All over the world, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams help people—like the migrants aboard this ship—to reconnect with their loved ones through letters, emails, and phone calls. We believe giving families peace of mind is a critical part of disaster relief and recovery.

The migrants in this video nearly drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016, but were rescued and cared for by the Red Cross Red Crescent and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS). In search of safety and a better life, they had boarded rubber rafts and wooden boats that put them in grave danger. Last year alone, more than 5,000 migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea as they attempted this journey.
Many refugees displaced from their homes have been separated from their families. Through our free and confidential service, called Restoring Family Links, we work with people to search for and locate their loved ones.

Video created by Mathieu Willcocks, Jenelle Eli, and Brad Zerivitz


When you get a phone in your hand, who's the
first person you will call?

My mother.

First thing, I'm going to call my mother.

I first of all, call my mom.

Yeah, that's the first person I will call

I will call my mom first and I know she will
be very happy.

First I call mom. But I come here 6 days, no call my mom.

Hear from Kids in Rural Myanmar

How do students in Myanmar feel about their newfound disaster skills? Listen for yourself.

The American Red Cross and Myanmar Red Cross are working together to help keep community members in Myanmar safe during disasters. We teach teachers and students lifesaving skills—such as first aid, light search-and-rescue, duck-and-cover—so they know what to do if a disaster strikes. And we distribute equipment to schools that can help save lives: fire extinguishers, megaphones, life vests, helmets, first aid kits, buckets, boots, and more. We even provide solar panels and sound systems to schools in case they need to serve as evacuation shelters or give evacuation orders to the surrounding community. Myanmar faces earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, fires, and other natural disasters. Crises can’t always be avoided, but the Red Cross is working hard to mitigate risks and ensure communities know what to do in case of emergencies.

Learn more at

Produced by Jenelle Eli and Brad Zerivitz

#redcross #disasterpreparedness #myanmar

A Home Lost: Wildfires in California

Wildfires are unforgiving. And unpredictable. Winds can spread flames quickly and destroy whatever is in their path. Just ask John Couracos, whose home in Lake Isabella, California was destroyed by the Erskine wildfire last week. He lost nearly everything, including his musical instruments—which were very dear to his heart. John and his neighbors in Squirrel Valley had to evacuate as the wildfire approached and many families had no place to sleep. Red Cross volunteers stepped up to provide shelt

International Services - How are families in Cox's Bazar Prepping for Monsoon Rains?

Since August 2017, more than 600,000 people have fled Rakhine state, Myanmar to seek safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Crowded into sprawling camps on unstable hillsides—and living in structures made of bamboo, plastic sheeting, cardboard and sometimes corrugated iron sheeting—families’ lives during the monsoon season could go from extremely basic to extremely dangerous.

The American Red Cross has been working alongside global Red Cross and Red Crescent teams to provide lifesaving aid to

International Services - Meet a Migrant Hero: Fatima

In Cox’s Bazar displacement camps, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons face rain, strong winds, landslides, and flooding. In an effort to care for one another under dangerous conditions, volunteers have learned first aid, search-and-rescue, and other preparedness skills. During heavy storms, these volunteer heroes are responsible for warning neighbors about incoming weather and responding to injuries if needed.

Since August 2017, more than 700,000 people have fled Rakhine State, Myan

Refugee rescue ships: What’s it like onboard?

What’s it like to work aboard a ship rescuing refugees? Jenelle Eli takes us into her 2021 mission aboard the Ocean Viking—a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean Sea run by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and SOS Mediterranee. The ship’s crew comes from countries all around the globe and work together to navigate the choppy waters, search for people in distress at sea, and care for those rescued.

People fleeing the Libyan coast leave in the middle of the night. Seeking safety from war, conflict, and persecution, they attempt dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea. In rickety boats and deflating rafts, they have to no chance of making it to safe land on their own—yet they try because people feel it’s their only option. Thousands die every year as they attempt the crossing. In an effort to prevent these deaths, the IFRC helps fund and staff the rescue vessel.

In this vlog, we don’t show survivors’ faces because we’re trying to give them privacy and ensure their identities are protected. But we take you aboard the ship, where so many of them have found a reason to hope.

#refugees #redcross #migration

Cox’s Bazar: Symbols of Strength in the Displacement Camp

Over the past two years, more than 700,000 people have fled Rakhine State, Myanmar to seek safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Many arrived injured, malnourished, and devastated. They speak of dangerous journeys—walking days on end to reach the border and losing touch with family members along the way. Once in Bangladesh, they crowd into camps on muddy hillsides and live in structures made of bamboo, plastic, cardboard and sometimes corrugated metal sheeting. Monsoon rains and dangerous cyclone seasons put migrants at risk of landslides, floods, and destructive wind. Despite harsh conditions—and because there’s no possibility of evacuating the displacement camp during cyclones—migrants are volunteering to help their neighbors during natural disasters and other emergencies.

The American Red Cross has been working alongside global Red Cross and Red Crescent teams to provide lifesaving aid to the families. We are training migrants on first aid, early warning systems, and other skills so they can respond to rain, wind, flooding, landslides, and cyclones. As part of the Bangladesh government’s Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP), the American Red Cross, Bangladesh Red Crescent, and IFRC are training thousands of camp residents and local (host) community members. In addition, the Red Cross supports disaster simulation drills and equips volunteers to warn fellow residents of danger via megaphones, a flag system, and even loudspeakers at mosques.

Learn more at

Produced by Jenelle Eli and Brad Zerivitz

#redcross #bangladesh #coxsbazar

Hatching Brighter Futures

Communities in the Philippines are no strangers to disaster. Living in one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world means that earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, and other emergencies are a constant threat. When disasters strike in the Philippines, Red Cross teams deliver humanitarian aid—but don’t stop there. Instead, the Red Cross helps families and neighborhoods rebuild healthier, safer, and better prepared for future disasters and crises.

On the island of Leyte, the Red Cross is helping entrepreneurs like Adelina to rebuild and grow their businesses. After losing her farm to a powerful typhoon, Adelina received seed money to restart her duck and pig farm. She uses the income earned from her farm for food and school expenses. Adelina has reinvested some of the earnings to grow her business, which has doubled in the past few years. Income helps families be more resilient in the face of crises—and more confident, too. They have more time to focus on disaster preparedness. They reinvest in their communities. And they’re better-equipped to help their neighbors.

Written by: Jenelle Eli
Directed by: Brad Zerivitz
Original music composed by Jonathan Galland