Geneva/Rome, 6 June 2019 – More than 10,000 young Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders and volunteers from 140 countries will gather in northern Italy from 17-23 June to celebrate the centenary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The weeklong “4th International Solferino Youth Meeting” will include a series of workshops for hundreds of young Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders, focusing on major humanitarian challenges such as climate change, as well as some of the world’s most pressing and protracted crises. They will also contribute to the development of IFRC’s new Strategy 2030 that will guide the organization’s work for the coming decade.
The week will culminate on 22 June with the annual Fiaccolata – a candle-lit march involving thousands of volunteers between Solferino and Castiglione delle Stiviere. Solferino is the town where in 1859, Swiss businessman, Henry Dunant, witnessed a bloody battle between French and Sardinian armies. Dunant organized local people to treat the soldiers’ wounds and to feed and comfort them. These actions led to the creation of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The International Youth Meeting offers numerous, compelling media opportunities, including the chance to speak with and profile young volunteers from around the world. These passionate humanitarians are committed to solving the problems they see. They are a powerful antidote to the sometimes-cynical representation given to millennials around the world.
Below are some suggestions of how journalists and media outlets can capitalize on the event. Italian Red Cross and IFRC communications staff will be available in the lead up to and during the event to support.
The event is highly visual, involving thousands of young people from around the world living in a Red Cross humanitarian base camp. The Fiaccolata march sets off from the medieval centre of Solferino at sunset, with participants carrying candles as they wind their way towards Castiglione delle Stiviere.
Interviews/profiles of youth representatives from your country
More than 10,000 volunteers, including more than 400 young Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders representing 140 countries are attending the event. These young and passionate leaders will be taking part in a series of events during their time in Solferino focused on identifying solutions to the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems both now and in the future.
Interviews/profiles/discussions with young people on the front lines of today’s major humanitarian crises
Among the participants are Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers responding to some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian emergencies. These are young women and men who choose to dedicate their time and even risk their lives to help people affected by conflicts and violence, stigma and discrimination, and disasters and health emergencies.
The “Fiaccolata” (Saturday 22 June) – a highly visual and emotional march
More than 10,000 volunteers will follow the path of Henry Dunant, walking from Solferino to Castiglione delle Stiviere. Setting off at sunset, this candlelit march is highly visual.
Senior Red Cross and Red Crescent officials
In addition to youth representatives, a number of senior Red Cross and Red Crescent officials will participate. The IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, will be present during the Solferino events, together with more than 60 Red Cross Red Crescent leaders.
Journalists are invited to attend the event on 21-22 June. Requests to attend on other dates will be considered.
Some logistical support is available for journalists interested in attending the event. Please contact the media contacts below.
A media centre is available on site with dedicated internet.
Photos and video will be made available to media throughout the event via IFRC’s multimedia newsroom: www.ifrcnewsroom.org.