On Sunday 26 April, disaster relief charity RedR will be the focus of the BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal. The appeal will be presented by BBC World Affairs Correspondent, Mike Wooldridge, and is aimed at raising the profile of effective but lesser known charities like RedR. RedR provides training and recruitment for engineers and other relief workers around the world, ensuring people with the right skills are available and responding to disasters.
The broadcast will be at 7.55am on the Sunday, later that day at 9.26pm and then on Thursday 30 April at 3.27pm. Mike Wooldridge has been a world affairs correspondent for the BBC since 2001 and during this time has witnessed many disasters, seeing first-hand the work done by relief organisations like RedR. In October 2005, he reported from Pakistan following the earthquake, where he met a RedR member, Paul Wooster, who was involved in the immediate relief efforts. Paul’s wife, Kelly, was also out in Pakistan and was responsible for setting up RedR’s programme there following the earthquake. RedR trained over 2000 aid workers in Pakistan, in everything from camp management and water, sanitation and hygiene to safety and security, helping ensure the 3 million people who had lost their homes survived the winter and received the best possible aid.
Mike’s son, Simon Wooldridge, who works as a relief worker for Mines Advisory Group and has attended several RedR training courses comments;
“The places and situations I find myself working in remain difficult but I think as a result of the RedR training my ability to do a good job of helping others has improved. Hopefully I will be attending more courses in the future – certainly there is a need for quality, well thought-out humanitarian aid.”
In the last 3 decades, RedR and its members have been present at most of the major rapid-onset disasters around the world, including the famines in Ethiopia, the Rwandan genocide and the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo. In addition to a programme following the Pakistan earthquake, RedR set up a training programme in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami and in Darfur, Sudan in response to the escalating conflict. Last year the charity provided training to approximately 3500 aid workers in 20 different countries. RedR relies on the generosity of individuals to continue its important work and is hoping the broadcasts will provide a significant boost to the its fundraising efforts.
RedR are encouraging all supporters to listen in and show their support. If you miss the broadcasts you can listen again by visiting the Radio 4 Appeal website www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/programmes/formats/appeals This will be available for the full week of the appeal. If you wish to make a donation you can give though Radio 4 by sending a cheque to Freepost BBC Radio 4 Appeal (please mark the back of your envelope RedR), calling Freephone 0800 404 8144 or visiting the Radio 4 website. You can also make a donation directly to RedR via their website www.redr.org.uk