Red Cross Club holds IHL awareness event

Speakers inform students on war’s impacts on the environment

Bingo winners receive Red Cross themed prizes for their trivia knowledge on IHL topics.

Red Cross Club members and students met to learn about the rules of war and its impacts on the environment. On Monday, April 10, participants played Bingo Trivia to test their knowledge on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) policies after listening to Red Cross speakers.

“Spreading awareness is hard, especially when IHL is a topic not many people know about, so I try to make the information digestible and relevant to the audience,” said Sarah Tabor, regional coordinator for the IHL youth action campaign.

The IHL youth action campaign is affiliated with the Red Cross Club and focuses on a different aspect of war’s issues every year. This year’s topic is war and the environment, specializing in the effects that war has on the natural world.

“I have heard about war crimes in the media, but this year’s topic was especially interesting for me, because the environment is not usually prioritized during warfare,” sophomore IHL advocate Soyam Ammanuel said.

Tabor, a junior at McLean, is responsible for bringing the campaign to the school, having been involved with the Red Cross in the past. The campaign brings together students across all grades to learn about a prominent and timely issue in the world.

“The IHL campaign has brought me so many friends and opportunities, and as I got involved in the Red Cross, I wanted to bring that to McLean,” Tabor said.

After getting the campaign approved, Tabor began selecting students to help in spreading awareness on war and its effects. Raising awareness started with a social media account and eventually grew to a group of members with a mission to educate on the rules of war.

“I wish more people knew the importance of being educated on IHL so the public can better recognize the violations and advocate for improvements,” Amanuel said.

To spread the word in the area, the IHL campaign group hosted the event in the lecture hall, in an attempt to educate McLean students in particular. After listening to a presentation and speakers, meeting participants played bingo to test their knowledge on the subject of war and its rules.

“Wars have rules, and with all the conflict that goes on in the world, it’s so important for people to be able to recognize when wrong is being done, even in ways we do not realize,” Tabor said.

Students were awarded with Red Cross themed prizes for their IHL trivia knowledge, allowing them to take home a reminder of the Red Cross and what it stands for. Meeting attendees were encouraged to spread the word on IHL and consider joining the campaign in the future.

“The Red Cross Club is always made up of super supportive and passionate people, and IHL is just an extension of that,” Tabor said. “When I volunteer with the Red Cross, it feels like I am contributing to something much bigger than myself.”