In our own words

Dear visitor,

Exactly 150 years ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was set up as a humanitarian assistance organization .

But the ICRC is not just any organization. It operates around the world in accordance with the same fundamental principles; it responds to the needs of the vulnerable in society; and it is capable of mobilizing 100 million volunteers for a wide range of tasks.

We have not achieved this by doing the same thing for 150 years. Only by continually questioning, reinventing and improving ourselves can we continue to motivate our volunteers and help the vulnerable in society.

Belgian Red Cross-Flanders moves with the times. The new digital format of our 2012 annual report is testimony to that. We are also evolving in terms of our activities and the people and resources we deploy. With society changing at a rapid pace, we are constantly taking account of new needs.
This idea of ‘not standing still’ also underpins our research and development strategy, which we further developed in 2012. Rather than blindly following tradition, intuition or good will, we adopt an approach based on proven efficacy. Which is why our core activities are supported by scientific data as much as possible.

We want to consolidate the knowledge and expertise we have built up over the years, use it in our activities and share it with colleagues, thereby bridging the gap between science and practice.

Making our actions more efficient and effective is what it is all about. Therein also lies the strength of our research and development strategy: our activities in the field enhance our knowledge and vice versa. For example, our volunteers can be confident that the first aid guidelines they use in an accident or when giving first aid classes are scientifically substantiated, while, conversely, their experience in the field serves to test and hone those same guidelines.

As well as scientific evidence, we are also constantly on the lookout for instruments to integrate and guarantee quality within our organization. In so doing, we aim to set a benchmark as a humanitarian organization. In 2012, for example, we won ISO certification  for our emergency reception center for asylum seekers in Houthalen-Helchteren.

For the first time we have structured this annual report around the guidelines set out in our strategic plan Pledge 2015. The starting point for Pledge 2015 is what Belgian Red Cross-Flanders can do for you, and its guidelines govern how we operate as an organization. For whether it be promoting self-reliance, emergency preparedness, blood supply or our care activities, the only way we can achieve our goals is by everyone within the organization working closely together: volunteers and employees; branches, provinces and management bodies.

We would like to say a big thank you to our 250 branches, 100 Red Cross Youth branches, 13,643 volunteers and 1,252 employees. Through their hard work and dedication, Belgian Red Cross-Flanders was a trusted and reliable partner to the public once again in 2012.

Happy surfing!      


Prof dr. Philippe Vandekerckhove, Chief Executive Officer                                                   

Christ’l Joris, President