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Stories of Life

Stories of inspiration, strength and kindness from around the world. Meet our volunteers, aid workers, staff and the people they support through tough times.

Abdalla - Nigeria

After two attacks on his community, Abdalla lost his son, home and livelihood; but he survived.

Abdel - Greece

“I used to have a toy shop in Damascus. Making children smile as I help the doctors with vaccinations makes me happy while I'm here.”

Adam - New South Wales

Adam has farming in his blood. But with a drought hitting hard he is worried what the future holds.

Agaba Derrick - 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.

Amanda - Australia

“I hadn’t dreamt of becoming a nurse. I hadn’t pictured myself dressing wounds by lamplight with a little red cross embroidered over my heart.

Andrew became a Red Cross volunteer after moving to Australia from Philipines.

Andrew - Western Australia

“When we moved here, it was a big change. Our family back home is very close but we didn’t know anyone here ...

Anton - Australia

"The change I had was through sport, through boxing, stick fighting and kick boxing.

Barnabe - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Barnabe, who surely has one of the toughest gigs around, has many reasons to smile this week.

Bob - Queensland

“My first memories as a child was my mum and dad operating a young drop-in space in the city during the 50s and 60s …

Cesarina - South Sudan

Meet Cesarina, we call her ‘Mama Federation’ and she surely has Red Cross in her veins.

Cheenee - Philippines

“Even kids need to be prepared. If they know how to give first aid and what to do when there’s a typhoon ...

Christina - South Sudan

Christina, one of our brave volunteers in South Sudan, teaches people how to maintain hygiene in difficult conditions.

Conrad - Uganda

"When we arrived there was nothing here, just mud …

Denise - Bangladesh

It’s the human moments that make all the difference.

Dorsa - Afghanistan

“There are a lot of left over mines from the Soviet times ...

Dr Abdilahi - Somaliland

Somaliland’s no longer in the grip of a life-threatening cholera outbreak thanks to the hard work of people like Dr Abdillahi.

Dylan - Northern Territory

Dylan Lewis lost two of his footy team members to suicide.

Elsin - Nigeria

Elsin has her sights set on a brighter future. “I want to become a doctor one day."

Erwin - Philippines

“Everything was flattened. There was nothing left save for the shells of a few concrete buildings."

Francesco - New York/Italy

”This criminalisation of compassion is extremely worrying and could undermine more than a century of humanitarian standards and norms.

Fudin - Indonesia

Fudin has had trouble sleeping at night ever since a series of massive earthquakes hit his village.

Gabriela - Mexico

“That day was desperation. The city collapsed." When a massive earthquake hit Central Mexico in September ...

Hawa - Nigeria

“Smiling alone cannot express how happy I am, because I have never received any help like this in my life.”

Heather - Northern Territory

“There’s damage everywhere. The thing that has really struck me is the level of destruction a category 2 cyclone can cause.”

Hemi - Queensland

This is Hemi, he's a bit of legend in our world.

Jess, a Red Cross humanitarian worker

Jess - Somalia

“The word famine is not used lightly," says aid worker Jess. She’s recently returned from East Africa ...

Joe - Iraq

Venturing into countries at war, aid worker Joe Cropp has many stories to tell. “I’m a humanitarian reporter and storyteller.

John Paul - Kenya

If resilience wears a human face, the chances are you’re looking at it. Meet John Paul, a farmer and father-of-five.

Jon - Mediterranean Sea

After three months working in Libya without pay, Jon wasn’t sure things could get worse. But they did.

Justo - Uganda

"Charlie Olara, my son, was my firstborn. He went missing in 1998."

Karabo - Lesotho

After her dad died and her mum left to find work, Karabo became a surrogate parent for her two younger sisters.

Krishanthy - Sri Lanka

“I had to learn how to stand on my own feet and take care of my young daughter."

Lenor - Mozambique

“Life has been very hard because of the drought … In this field, we cultivate it with our own hands, but it has yielded nothing ...

Lesley - Queensland

“I slept rough on the streets of Brisbane for three and a half months but I came off the streets a couple of years ago.

Libby - Somalia

Job description: six weeks in the Somalian heat, 16 hour days, no days off, limited water.

Lisa - Australia

“I’ve become a lot more confident. I have people I trust now,” says Lisa

Louise - Queensland

Poppies, history and Red Cross are close to Louise’s heart. “I’m a history teacher and I’m particularly interested in World War One,” says our volunteer archivist.

Madelena - South Sudan

"The Red Cross represents humanity to me," says Madelena, a volunteer at a Red Cross camp for displaced persons.

Mark - Bangladesh

“I’ve lost count of how much trauma I have witnessed. It’s evident on people’s bodies and in their eyes ...

Mary - South Sudan

Becoming a mum is an event to celebrate but when you live in Yambio, South Sudan - not far from the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo - life is far from easy.

Michael - South Sudan

Water is the source of life. Just ask Michael, who heads up Red Cross' South Sudan country office.

Michi - Bangladesh

Michi was born in a Red Cross hospital and works in a Red Cross hospital.

Mohammad - Philippines

Last May, armed clashes, lasting five months, broke out in Marawi City, where Mohammad lives.

Narayan - Nepal

Meet Ambulance Uncle — if disaster strikes this is the guy you want to have around. He has saved more than 115 people's lives.

Neville - Australia

“Life can be tough sometimes,” says Neville Jetta.

Nikolay - Ukraine

These days a piercing silence sits over this ghost town, once home to some 300 families.

Paraskevi - Greece

"When we were running from the fire, my grandson stopped and pointed at the house."

Pauline - South Australia

"I thought bushfires only happened to other people," says Pauline.

Peter - Western Australia

“Sudan, Rwanda, Kyrgyzstan…” Peter has been around.

Ray - New South Wales

Some of Ray’s family thought it might be a good idea for him to move into a nursing home – but he had other plans.

Rhonda - South Australia

Rhonda is a volunteer who provides support for at-risk 10 to 17-year-olds when they are being interviewed by police.

Richard - Gaza

“I saw cleaners helping medics with patients. I saw management putting on tourniquets to stop people from bleeding to death.”

Rob - New South Wales

“Pretty proud, most farmers…they might think they might be a failure if they have to ask for help, so they are reluctant to do that."

Robert - Uganda

“These refugees are our neighbours and they're suffering, so I couldn't just sit there and do nothing.

Romm - Western Australia

“Neither of us were working. The house was trashed. A friend of ours took stock of our situation and organised a roster of people to volunteer to cook for us.”

Rosa - South Sudan

This is the first time Emmanuel has been able to hug his mum in a year and half.

Rosaria - Bangladesh

Rosaria is an aid worker running a men’s group in a simple open-plan bamboo and tarpaulin structure in a Bangladesh refugee camp.

Ruth - Australia

"You watch the news with almost your bags half packed. You're ready to go at the drop of a hat."

Setara - Bangladesh

For single mum Setara a bamboo and tarpaulin shanty is home, for now at least.

Silvestre - Mozambique

Silvestre Chivite is blind and can’t see the day-to-day struggles of his community.

Sirwan - Greece

”I speak four languages,” says Sirwan. “So I help people register at the Red Cross clinic and let them know about vaccination campaigns.

Soe - Myanmar

Every neighbourhood needs someone like 18-year-old Soe. “I became a volunteer because I want to be able to help people ...

Portrait of Stanley

Stanley - Northern Territory

Mental health is a hard subject and one that is rarely spoken about. That’s why Stanley’s work is so important.

Stuart - Timor-Leste

If you’ve had to trek hours each day to find fresh, clean water, taking back home as much as you carry, you might already know Stuart.

Sy - Switzerland

“Numbers and figures will never tell the stories of a deprived child in a protracted crisis; of a child that grows up knowing nothing but war … ,” says Elhadj As Sy

Tabitha - Cook Islands

Red Cross' office administrator by day, eco-warrior by night, and on the weekends ...

Teresita - Philippines

“My house was hit by falling coconut trees. We didn’t evacuate because we weren’t expecting the typhoon to be that strong,”

Toni - Bangladesh

"This hospital is the pointy end of the stick. It's the only surgical hospital that runs 24/7," says our nurse, midwife & aid worker.

Tracy - Sierra Leone

Tracy spent weeks fighting the 'disease of love' in Sierra Leone.

Vernon - Queensland

“Nothing bad happened to me, I had the best loving parents ever …. I just loved everything about destroying myself.”

Yonas - Ethiopia

Rivers have dried up, cattle are dying, crops haven’t been sown and people have used up whatever stockpiles of food they had.

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