Maldivian Red Crescent
|This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (October 2012)|
|Formation||16 August 2009|
|International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement|
|Aishath Noora Mohamed|
The Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC) (Dhivehi: ދިވެހި ރެޑް ކްރެސެންޓް, Dhivehi Red Crescent) is an independent, volunteer, non-profit, humanitarian organization established in the Maldives by virture of the Maldivian Red Crescent Act (Dhivehi: ދިވެހި ރެޑް ކްރެސެންޓްގެ ޤާނޫން, Dhivehi Red Crescent'ge Gaanoonu) Law No: 7/2009 
With the birth of the national society in the Maldives, all activities in the last quarter of 2009 was focused on its formation (developing its structures, capacities and programmes) and recognition within the community (be responsive to national vulnerabilities). Initially the community engagement was limited as activities implemented were mostly process oriented.
The vision of the Maldivian Red Crescent is "to be a model National Society contributing to overcome humanitarian challenges". The mission statement of the national society is "to volunteer, participate and partner in delivering humanitarian service to the most vulnerable".
As mandated by the Maldivian Red Crescent Law and the Statutes of the National Society, the primary objective of the MRC is "to prevent and alleviate suffering with complete impartiality, making no discrimination".
In addition, the volunteers, members and staff of the national society follow the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement;
- Voluntary Service
Maldivian communities were first introduced to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 which brought unprecedented devastation to the countries of the region including the Maldives.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with National Societies from numerous countries were some of the first international responders in the Maldives. Their assistance in the immediate relief and recovery stages of the disaster as well as long term recovery and rehabilitation projects helped numerous Maldivian communities to overcome the effects of the disaster.
Local individuals realized the importance and the need for having Maldives’ own national society and volunteered for its establishment. With this in mind, the volunteers, with the support of the Government of the Maldives started the process that led to the eventual formation of the Maldivian Red Crescent. This group of volunteers, with assistance from IFRC and partner national societies in the Maldives at the time began formulating the necessary documentation and legal framework for the new national society.
The Maldivian Red Crescent was officially formed with the holding of its inaugural General Assembly on 16 August 2009. The assembly elected the first governing board of MRC and adopted the National Society’s Statutes and Rules of Procedures.
The elected governing board approved MRC’s interim development plan and straight after the General Assembly, implementation of the plan took place with hiring of key management and programme staff. This led to an induction of the National Society’s governing board, management team, national advisory council members and programme staff as part of their capacity building. Formation of island units and atoll branches followed.
The MRC became the 187th member of the Movement at the 18th Federation General Assembly held in Geneva on 23 November 2011, having fulfilled all the conditions necessary, to be recognized as a member.
The legal foundation and ratification of the MRC Law by the Maldivian President took place in early May 2009. The law gave the legal right for a humanitarian organization – by the name Maldivian Red Crescent – to be established and undertake humanitarian work in the Maldives. As stipulated in the law, the objectives of the national society are;
- to provide humanitarian aid to civilian and military victims, and those suffering at times of war, conflict and peace;
- to protect and assist the victims including preservation of the physical integrity and dignity of the victims at times of war, conflict and peace;
- to contribute to the improvement of the conditions of the weak and the vulnerable; in times of ill health, in prevention of diseases, and in response to all humanitarian emergencies;
- to provide support to Government Organizations assisting the victims and those effected by disaster and natural causes.
In addition, the Law recognizes the role of the MRC as an auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field. The Law stipulates the exclusive usage of the "red crescent' emblem by the MRC.
The Maldivian Red Crescent is a membership driven organization. The members of the national society are registered at the branch level (typically in atolls), whereas activities and volunteers are active at Unit level (typically Islands). Members of the society form the governance structure, with unit boards and branch boards being elected. Each year representatives of the branches convene to hold the national General Assembly, which is the highest decision making authority of the society. In between the Assemblies, the society is governed by the Governing Board, which is elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years.
The Maldivian Red Crescent Headquarters is based in capital Male'.
- "Maldivian Red Crescent Law [Official, Dhivehi]" (PDF). Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Maldivian Red Crescent Law [Unofficial, English]" (PDF). Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Statutes of MRC [Dhivehi]" (PDF). Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Statutes of MRC [English]" (PDF). Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Maldivian Red Crescent officially joins the IFRC at the 18th General Assembly - IFRC". www.ifrc.org. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Maldivian Red Crescent formally recognised as world's 187th National Society - IFRC". www.ifrc.org. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Maldivian Red Crescent". redcrescent.org.mv. Retrieved 2015-12-10.