The Red Cross / Red Crescent World Youth Meeting: Live blogging starts on July 23rd!

Youth on the Move

Right now, Red Cross and Red Crescent youth volunteers from all over the world are gearing up for the 2009 World Youth Meeting, and are getting ready to make their way to Solferino, Italy, a small town in the countryside near Milan where Henri Dunant first had the inspiration to start the Red Cross movement almost 150 years ago.

Held every ten years, the World Youth Meeting is an opportunity for all Red Cross and Red Crescent youth to get together and think about what challenges are facing youth in the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and to plan how to approach these challenges over the next ten years. Solferino is also the site of the Humanitarian Village, an annual event run by the Italian Red Cross, open to all Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers, to celebrate the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.

The last world youth meeting, “Youth Power 99”, was held in Sweden in 1999 and had about 150 participants. This year, almost 600 youth and young adults from all over the world are expected to attend (and up to 5,000 people are expected to participate in the Humanitarian Village). Over the next week, 30 American Red Cross volunteers will be headed to Italy to participate in the World Youth Meeting and the Humanitarian Village, and we’re going to be bringing you all of the events and activities here on!

After the meeting is finished, two American Red Cross youth representatives will be participating in the “Journey of an Idea”, a symbolic trek over the Alps from Solferino to Geneva, Switzerland, to present the results of the meeting to the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It’s a big responsibility and your delegation, including representatives from local chapters as well as the National Youth Council, the National Youth Council Alumni Board and the Office of the National Chair of Volunteers, has been preparing for all of these events for the last six months.

We’re going to be bringing you all of these events here at, and we’d like to hear from all of you over the next few weeks. What challenges do you see facing Red Cross youth right now? Do you have any great ideas? We’ll be posting regularly over the next few weeks and we hope you’ll join in and let us know what you think!

Aubin Dupree, Paris

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