Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Our 20 favourite photos of 2017

Dedicated to everyone, everywhere, who helped make the world a kinder and more caring place in 2017.

 

Whether you’re helping get clean water to thousands of people who are sheltering in a refugee camp or you’re sharing your friendship and support with a neighbour who is struggling – every good deed matters.

Simple actions change lives and they build the sort of communities we surely all want to belong to.

These photos, from Australian and Red Cross societies around the world, represent the strength of the humanitarian spirit in the face of tough times.

Find out the ways you can get involved with Red Cross – from volunteering to donating blood. Together we can make the world a better place.

SOMALIA

Ebada Omer Awad hopes for rain at Wacays Dhukur Village. She had 70 goats but when this photo was taken only 13 were still alive. Catastrophic drought, economic insecurity, crop failures, livestock deaths and ongoing conflict have left almost 25 million people across East Africa on the brink of starvation. Donations to our appeal are being used to provide food to hungry families, truck in clean water to villages and deliver life-saving healthcare and medicines to people who are suffering. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Peter Caton

 

AUSTRALIA

A Wurundjeri elder performs a traditional smoking ceremony before the removal of flowers from the memorial site in Bourke Street Mall. Red Cross volunteers and City of Melbourne staff collected tributes left to those affected by the tragedy, where a man drove into a crowd of pedestrians. The flowers were made into mulch, the toys collected and cards compiled for the families of the victims – nothing went to waste. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Zayne D’Crus

 

YEMEN

Majed Nawfal, a volunteer with Yemen Red Crescent Society, talks to a woman with cholera at al-Sabeen hospital in the city of Sanaa. "I feel responsible towards serving my country,” says the 33-year-old. "Do not expect salaries nor financial awards in our volunteering job. Our job is the love of humanitarian work in return for nothing."

 

LEBANON

Australian aid worker Peter McArdle, pictured in Beirut, shows his support for the I am #NotATarget campaign. In the past year Red Cross humanitarian aid workers and volunteers have been killed in the line of duty in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Our aid workers and volunteers are trying to save lives and help people who are suffering – they are #NotATarget, not ever. Photo: IFRC/Stephen Ryan

 

BANGLADESH

These people wait in line to collect aid in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp. Every day thousands of new people arrive at the camp, seeking safety from violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. One of our aid workers says it is hard to work here, but almost unimaginable to live here. “The heat is overwhelming, the smells, the narrow, slippery and muddy paths run over steep hills. And the camps seem to go on forever – small huts of bamboo, tarpaulins or plastic sheeting carpet the hillsides as far as you can see.” Photo: IFRC/Michael Drost-Hansen

 

AUSTRALIA

Ken is bright, funny and ready to talk to anyone. But despite his outgoing personality, he was lonely after the death of his wife, followed by two injuries that affected his mobility. Ken reached out to us and was connected with volunteer Chris, a young university student, who began weekly visits. “At first I was just visiting and we'd sit down, have a chat and play cards,” says Chris. "But then we came out here [to the garage] to get something and Ken showed me all his woodwork tools he wasn't using. He told me about his career as a cabinet maker and I thought maybe he'd be able to help me with some of my projects.” Together they have built several projects and the relationship brings them both happiness. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Amelia Wong

 

BANGLADESH

A woman wades through waist-deep floodwaters in search of clean water. The August floods, which affected more than 7.4 million people, impacted large parts of Bangladesh, submerging water sources and making it difficult for communities to find safe drinking water. Red Cross supported those affected through immediate relief and provided assistance with water and sanitation, health and shelter. Photo: Bangladesh Red Crescent Society/Aminul Shawon

 

YEMEN

Areej, who lost her leg after she was hit by a car, tries out her new prosthesis. Although she is not war wounded, she was treated at a physical rehabilitation centre, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Because of the armed conflict, only 45% of health facilities in Yemen are functioning. Areej hasn’t been able to go to school since the accident and her dad is looking forward to getting her back in class. The seven-year-old loves to draw and says she wants to be a teacher one day. Photo: Norwegian Red Cross/Maria Korkunc

 

AUSTRALIA

Red Cross volunteers take a quick break from their work at the Bowen evacuation centre. They are preparing for an expected influx of people who have been left stranded in the Whitsundays by Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera

 

IRAQ

Despite the fact the war in Mosul has been declared over, the International Committee of the Red Cross says hundreds of thousands of civilians will continue to suffer the consequences. Red Cross has provided essential relief items, clean water and medicines to more than one million people since the start of the Mosul military operation. This photo, taken in March while the battle still raged, shows civilians fleeing west Mosul as fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants intensified. Photo: Tommy Trenchard/Panos Pictures

 

UGANDA

Water from a Red Cross treatment plant on the Nile in northern Uganda is pumped from a truck into a tank for people living in the Rhino refugee camp. The refugees have fled violence and hunger in neighbouring South Sudan. Photo: IFRC/Tommy Trenchard /Panos

 

AUSTRALIA

When Alinoti Milingita contacted the Red Cross international tracing service, he hadn’t seen his mother in nearly two decades and wasn't even sure if she was alive. He yearned for her to meet her grandchildren, born in refugee camps in Kenya, but held little hope. Six months into the search and against all odds, we found Alinoti’s mother. To begin with she didn’t believe it was her son. Only when she called him by his childhood name did she truly believe he was Alinoti, her lost son. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Nicole Pascoe

 

AUSTRALIA

A group of migrant women from Gatton in Queensland wanted to give something back to the community that had welcomed them. So they set up their own women’s group. Red Cross caseworker Sue Williams (centre) says some of the women have emerged as leaders and are encouraging others in their community who are still too shy to leave their homes. About 30 migrants and asylum seekers attended the group with the support of long-term residents, including two retired English teachers. A local church provided its hall free of charge and others donated laptops and sewing machines. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Amelia Wong

 

SOMALIA

Mohammed is a Somali Red Crescent volunteer nurse with a mobile health clinic. The Red Crescent clinics provide medical care to some of the most remote and vulnerable communities affected by the drought in Somalia and nearby countries. The clinics carry nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical supplies and medicines. They provide treatment for, among other things, common illnesses, childhood immunizations, malnutrition screening, antenatal and postnatal care. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Peter Caton

 

AUSTRALIA

During Tropical Cyclone Debbie, Tanya Hornsby’s sons wrote this message to let their worried relatives know they were okay. The cyclone caused havoc in parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales in March. Red Cross teams have been there to support communities in the days and months since. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera

 

BANGLADESH

Mahamad Isup, 92, walked for eight days to find safety. When his legs finally gave out, his relatives carried him the rest of the way on their backs. Now Mahamad has a new home on his back, an industrial-strength tarpaulin and rope, for his new life in the Bangladesh camps. More than 620,000 people have fled conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, crossing into Bangladesh in search of safety. This is the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Antony Balmain

 

UGANDA

Agaba Derrick uses science to save lives. “If the refugees can’t have clean water, then life will not be good for them,” he says. He’s a volunteer lab assistant with Uganda Red Cross and he tests the chlorine and aluminium sulphate content of water before it’s shipped to a refugee camp in Uganda’s north. “This lab work is the most important part of the process. We need to make sure the water is fit for human consumption. I always had a passion to help people and that’s what we’re doing here.” Photo: IFRC/Tommy Trenchard/Panos

 

AUSTRALIA

“The change I had was through sport. The routine, the release of endorphins, being around a great supportive community … that showed me there was something worth more than all the negative stuff I was doing.” Anton turned his life around and started working with us mentoring young people in the criminal justice system. Using a physical exercise program, he helped with anger management, decision-making skills, self-esteem and self-discipline. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Lara Cole

 

ITALY

Stezgi Wamn (22) and his wife Regat Kebede (18) with their one-week-old son. This young family of Eritrean migrants are pictured at an Italian Red Cross camp, called Fenoglio, just outside Turin. Some 100,000 people have arrived in Italy this year, after making the dangerous and difficult Mediterranean crossing from Libya. Photo: British Red Cross/Marco Panzetti

 

AUSTRALIA

Ukrainian-born Sasha Woloshenko was always told his father died as a prisoner of war in WWII. But he never had concrete evidence and always believed there was another explanation. With the help of Red Cross and a search spanning the globe, he discovered his father had actually survived the war and died in 1985. Even though they never met, Sasha found peace knowing his father had a good life and searched for him. He also discovered a half-sister who lives in Ukraine. They now exchange letters and Sasha is slowly learning more of his father’s story. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Aysha Leo

Explore ways you can get involved

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest news and inspiring stories