International Women’s Day Competition

Announcing the Winners – Inspiring and Innovative Leaders

There were over 300 nominations for our competition, sent to us either via email or in the volunteers Facebook group and it was extremely hard to choose winners.  Fortunately, our friends at some National Societies agreed with us and they have come forward to offer even more exciting prizes for some of our Inspirational Leaders.

The Inspirational and Innovative Winners

We have selected four winners;

1. Itidal Abdu Nasser Ahmed – Volunteer, Yemen Red Crescent Society

‘Mama Itidal’ as she is affectionately known, has been volunteering with Yemen Red Crescent for approximately 45 years. During this time she provided emergency medical assistance during a number of conflicts and has been injured in the line of duty herself. She has developed a number of innovative and inspirational initiatives including those helping migrants from Africa, and developing and managing a health centre, supporting particularly women and children. She also developed pioneering programs for women in prison with hygeine and programs to improve living conditions. She has constantly forged new initiatives and ideas and inspires those around her.  Mama Itidal will have an opportunity to particpate in the IFRC Innovation Forum in Qatar in September, with all expenses paid.

2. Shamila Dhana – Volunteer, British Red Cross

Shamila has experienced many challenges in her own life including a period of time where she was homeless and struggled with mental health challenges. Shamila has achieved remarkable things since then, passionate about womens and migrants issues, she has been volunteering to support women migrants and refugees and a womens group that provides support on a wide range of issues including domestic violence, social isolation, hate crimes and mental health issues. Shamila also does countless presentations to schools to try and raise awareness of the needs of migrants and represents the Red Cross on a number of panels including a steering group addressing Female Genital Mutilation. Shamila says volunteering saved her life and she wants to be able to support other women to have a voice, To say ‘this has happened to me too. You’re not the only one. You’re not alone’. Shamila will have an opportunity to travel to Solferino Italy, with all expenses paid to participate in the Fioccalata and a major womens event being held there in June.

3. Christine Nthahe – Volunteer, Burundi Red Cross

Christine has been volunteering with the Red Cross for more than 12 years.  Each Sunday she opens up her home to more than 200 street children and orphans where she provides them with food, clothes, comfort and care. She knows each one of them by name. She also provides school kits for the children, promotes the importance of education for them and tutors around 20 of them on a daily basis to help them with their studies. She is the President of her Branch and is widely respected by all.  Christine will be offered an opportunity to travel to Solferino Italy, with all expenses paid to participate in the Fioccalata and a major womens event being held there in June.

4. Melvine Obollah – Volunteer – Kenya Red Cross

Melvine leads a project which is aimed providing free space to have conversations on ending violence against children in schools and their communities. She is a Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocate-championing for the rights of adolescent girls and young women, sexual minorities: LBQ AND ITGNC persons on access to quality health care, and access to amenities. She volunteers to disseminate knowledge on SRHR to adolescent girls, young women both in and out of school and children living with disabilities. Melvine is also human rights defender and passionate feminist who “seeks to challenge the societal/cultural patriarchal systems that undermine women rights especially educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men” Melvine will have an opportunity to travel to Vancouver , Canada in June, all expenses paid, courtesy of the British Red Cross, to participate in the 5th Women Deliver conference which will take place in Vancouver, British Colombia, June 3-6, 2019. This conference is a the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.

Honourable Mentions

There were so many amazing stories in the competition that it was hard to decide; each of these will receive a certificate of commendation from the IFRC and their story will be included in various events, exhibitions and communications of the IFRC.  The Commendation Awards go to…

Esther Muiruri

Kenya Red Cross

Sarah Rashid

Pakistan Red Crescent

Shirley Blackshaw

Costa Rica Red Cross

Grace Tabu Laki

South Sudan Red Cross

Verónica López

Mexican Red Cross


Yemen Red Crescent

Ernestine Zougbapo

Central African Republic Red Cross

Mrs. Helena Ekandjo

Namibia Red Cross

Louloua Alshark

Yemen Red Crescent

Carolina Ferreira

Cayman Islands Red Cross

Raquel Bernedo Pardal

Spanish Red Cross

Stefania Giodini

Netherlands Red Cross

Gop Gai

Australian Red Cross

Betty Karambu

Kenya Red Cross