The #UNSTOPPABLE: Our journey with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

By, Faiza Lahlou, Vice President Communications & Sustainability at Procter & Gamble
May 13, 2021 9:30 AM ET
Blog

For the past few weeks there has been a wind of hope blowing across Europe. Vaccination programs are being rolled out, streets are reopening, and life is slowly resuming to ‘normal’. Whilst this is a breath of fresh air for many, we cannot forget the impact the pandemic has had on human lives, on the economy and on society as a whole.

The role of community has been vital to managing the effects of the pandemic and, as we all evaluate what we’ve personally experienced, we must also take a moment to consider how we can continue to support those most in need. 

For us at P&G, responding in times of crisis isn’t something new, nor is helping vulnerable communities—it’s an everyday part of our Community Impact work across Europe. Our brands are part of everyday life in every household, we’re there in greater times of need, when our products and our help matter more than ever. However, what has been different with the outbreak of coronavirus, has been the scale, speed and agility of support needed.

To bring our scale to bear, we were honoured to support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and their National Societies across many countries in Europe. Being the world’s largest humanitarian network, the collective local action by the volunteers of the Movement has a massive global impact – and we are proud to have collaborated with them on health and hygiene interventions, to roll out vaccination programs and provide material and economic support to those communities who need it the most.

The #Unstoppable

At the heart of this work are the PEOPLE who give their time, skills and energy to be on the frontline – the 14 million volunteers who have tirelessly been on their feet, serving with their hearts and hands to provide relief across the world. All of us at P&G agree that YOU are #unstoppable. We have joined the Movement celebrating you this weekend, on World Red Cross and Red Crescent day!

I had the pleasure of speaking with the Italian Red Cross’ coordinator of the emergency health response, Valerio Mogini, about the amazing work of the volunteers and specifically the efforts he leads on the vaccination campaign.

Watch the video on Youtube

We show our gratitude to the millions of volunteers. We also want to shine a light on the critical role of all National Societies across beautiful Europe. They are deeply embedded in the communities, understand the needs and act for impact This is true as well for our P&G people across Europe who have been relentlessly acting as a force for good in their communities at such a difficult time.

#ForceForGood

P&G has been standing with and supporting the Red Cross & Crescent Societies in more than 20 countries across Europe. These impactful grassroot efforts showcase the breadth of possibilities we have at P&G to be a force for good in our world.

In Italy, P&G and the Italian Red Cross launched “Aula 162”, a program dedicated to work inclusion for people who may have been made redundant due to covid-19, women who are victims of violence, migrants and refugees in need of assistance as they arrive in a new country. Further to this, they are initiating a telemedicine program to help vulnerable people be monitored at home, thereby reducing the pressure in hospitals.

Watch the video on Youtube

In the UK, we are proud about the sustained support to the British Red Cross announced last week! The funding will enable the delivery of critical initiatives, including providing practical and emotional support to people in need through their coronavirus support line, helping people resettle safely back into their homes after a hospital visit, supporting the national vaccination programme, providing access to wheelchairs and other mobility aids as well as food and medicine deliveries.

Since the early days of the pandemic, we have worked with the Turkish Red Crescent to provide millions of everyday essentials to those who needed them most. We stepped up during the Izmir earthquake to quickly respond to the emergency needs with P&G products, hygiene kits and clothes. What’s more, we have donated 400 Turkish Lira ($50) worth grocery vouchers to thousands of families struggling economically. 

Watch the video on Youtube

With the Ukrainian Red Cross, we teamed up to support the medical staff, providing personal protective equipment kits in healthcare facilities with shortage of such equipment.

In Greece, P&G joined forces with the Hellenic Red Cross to shape a yearly program in support of the homeless. A mobile unit with trained medical personnel, social workers & volunteers are offering ongoing support to homeless people in the form of food and product necessities, medical treatment, hygiene kits, blankets and clothes. All meant to protect them against the effects of COVID-19.

#TheRecovery

We may be through the worst of the pandemic, and whilst there is hope for a recovery, rebuilding a stronger, more resilient, fairer greener Europe that we aspire to will require leaving no one behind.

We are committed to continue working with the IFRC and National Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies, to strengthen these winds of hope, focusing on health and hygiene with our everyday essentials, supporting vaccination roll outs and providing economic assistance, in response to COVID-19 emergency appeal.    

Wherever there is a crisis, there is a Red Cross or Red Crescent volunteer ready to support the people affected, and ensure they recover quickly and can live with greater resilience and dignity.

I want to express my personal gratitude especially to the ~2 million volunteers in Europe, who contribute deeply to make our communities safer, more resilient and more inclusive.

Thank you for being #unstoppable