Bun Rany, president of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), sent out a congratulatory message on December 5 to mark its significance as the International Day of Volunteers, which this year was held with the theme “Unity through Volunteering”.

“Of course, this year’s theme aims to emphasise to everyone that we must redouble our efforts to work together in the spirit of unity, to address the challenges arising because of climate change, Covid-19 and other crises such as regional wars in order to maintain progress and prosperity on our planet,” she said.

In fact, she said, the strong unity of the volunteer forces from all walks of life in the Kingdom has strengthened Cambodia and was a key factor that enabled it to go forward with the implementation of the comprehensive national strategy of the government that effectively brought the Covid-19 pandemic under control.

The government has been promoting economic growth in the context of living a new normal path with endemic Covid-19, which was notably demonstrated when it hosted international gatherings this year such as the ASEAN Summits.

Bun Rany noted that volunteering is more important today than ever before in history because millions of volunteers will ultimately be needed to come together as a unified force to help solve challenges such as climate change.

She noted that the CRC is the largest humanitarian institution in the country with 50,000 volunteers, in addition to its regular staff members.

“Volunteers in the community continue to strengthen solidarity, cooperate with stakeholders, build community resilience and provide services to the most vulnerable and affected people as soon as possible without leaving anyone behind,” she said.

The CRC’s president also requested that all CRC volunteers do their best to stay up-to-date on medical news and knowledge, particularly about Covid-19 and its new variants, as it may be critical for them to have a deeper understanding of these issues at some point in order to overcome the challenges posed by anything from climate change and food security to vaping.

Volunteers and frontline medical workers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent have been active since the Battle of Solferino and have been active ever since, according to Bun Rany, who was referring to the last engagement of the second war of Italian independence in 1859, which was fought in Lombardy between an Austrian army and the French army and resulted in a victory for France under Napoleon.