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Kiwi Red Cross Aid Workers All Over The World

18 December 2008

Kiwi Red Cross Aid Workers All Over The World This Christmas

From Sudan to South Africa, Malaysia to the Maldives and everywhere in between, New Zealand Red Cross aid workers operating around the world will be celebrating the holiday season in many different ways including a barbecue in Sudan, counting relief supplies in Malaysia and choir singing in Bangkok.

This year there will be 17 New Zealand Red Cross aid workers working overseas during the Christmas period, using their specialist skills to help vulnerable people in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dubai, Israel, Malaysia, Maldives, Ossetia, Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan, Thailand and Timor Leste.

Earlier this month, New Zealand Red Cross despatched a special festive ‘Red Cross Parcel’ to all those aid workers who will be spending their Christmas away from New Zealand. This year’s theme for the parcel was the traditional Kiwi barbecue and included items such as Tiki shaped salad servers, tomato sauce, potato chips and items to make dip, kiwi lollies and a Kiwiana tea towel.

For Dunedin nurse Carleen Hawkins who works in Sudan as part of the Field Surgical Team in Nyala, South Darfur, the holiday celebration will include a tree with decorations, and she will attempt to make a Pavlova to enjoy after a barbecue she’ll share with her international colleagues on Christmas Eve.

The holiday season will also be a special time for Jeremy Francis, originally from Christchurch, who works as the Regional Logistics Co-ordinator in Malaysia. This year he’ll celebrate Christmas with his new baby.

Jeremy says there won’t be much time for a rest over the holidays though as he and his team will be conducting a full stock-take of the regional warehouse in Kuala Lumpur which houses emergency relief supplies such as blankets, tarpaulins and jerry cans.

In Bangkok, aid worker Malcolm McKinlay, who works as the Regional Organisational Development delegate, will be performing Handel’s Messiah as part of the combined choir over the holiday season. Malcolm, whose parents live in Mosgiel, has only just returned to Bangkok after working in Myanmar with the Red Cross National Society.


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