Fighting Ebola in a conflict zone

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a Red Cross volunteer wearing surgical scrubs helps another volunteer get dressed in a protective suit that covers his whole body and eyes to avoid Ebola

Protective clothing for safe burial, © Baron Nkoy/ICRC

Your country is at war and has been for years. And there are not just two armies fighting, but instead around 30 armed groups.

Anywhere and everywhere can be a battlefield and nobody knows when the next round of violence will break out.

They don’t just attack each other – kidnappings, random shootings and sexual assaults are common.

Elections are a month away. You feel it’s likely that tensions will get worse.

Then people start to die from a disease you’ve never seen or heard of before.

People suddenly arrive from other towns, or even other countries and continents.

They tell you to change how you have always done things so you and your family won’t get ill. But you don’t know if what they are saying is true.

Even the name they use for this mystery disease is new to you: Ebola.

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Terry made life worth living again

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Ken sits next to British Red Cross volunteer Terry, who helps support people in his community, and both are laughing

Ken and Terry, © British Red Cross

“I wouldn’t have cared if I lived or died,” said Ken, 92.

Ken was heartbroken when his wife Ann died after over 60 years of marriage.

Sadly, Ann had developed dementia and Ken was caring for her at home. But in January, Ken was in a car accident and had to spend several months in hospital.

Injuries to his neck and ankle meant he couldn’t walk or move around as well as he used to.

Then, while he was in hospital, Ann passed away. Ken returned alone to the home they once shared.

“It was a very, very sad time,” he said. “I couldn’t see the point.”

“But that was when I met this bright chap, Terry.”

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Yemen crisis: “this is reality”

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In Yemen, a man and woman sit on small boxes in a courtyard littered with debris while they watch their young granddaughter sleep on cardboard boxes on the ground

Yemen: grandparents with their sleeping granddaughter © ICRC / Abduljabbar Zeyad

“Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. It’s not just in the media. It’s reality.”

These words from Indra Adhikari in Yemen struck me to the core.

Through one of modern technology’s miracles, Indra, his two colleagues and I spoke from my home and his office.

Suddenly, via a crackling computer audio link, this crisis was no longer half a world away. It was in my living room.

Right now, after more than three years of conflict, people in Yemen could be at risk of facing the worst famine the world has seen in 100 years.

And an average of 75 people are killed or injured every day.

Nearly every child, woman and man in Yemen is affected.

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The Red Cross saved my father’s life in the First World War

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Amanda Nicholson holds her father's First World War flying jacket to show where the bullet went through the cloth

Amanda Nicholson holding her father’s flying jacket with the bullet hole still in the back

“If it wasn’t for the Red Cross I wouldn’t be here.”

For Amanda Nicholson, the ceremonies to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War on 11 November will be especially poignant.

Her father, James Orr MacAndrew – known as Jo – was one of Britain’s first fighter pilots during World War One.

“My father came from a family of six where all three sons served during the First World War,” Amanda said.

“My father was terribly anxious that the war would end before he had a chance to enlist.”

But Jo did manage to join up in March 1918 after leaving school at the age of 19. This was just five months after his older brother, Colin, was killed in action.

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Bonfire Night: First aid for burns

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Friends and family gather for Bonfire Night
Bonfire Night – a time when friends and family gather to ‘Ooo’ and ‘Ahh’ at the night sky as firework after firework light up the darkness with an almighty bang.

Whether you’re having your own party, attending a friend’s or off to a display, there’s a common risk that comes from celebrating with fireworks – burns.

But have no fear. We’ve got some top advice for helping someone with a burn this Bonfire Night.

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Art from the past: a dangerous journey in the First World War

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Stobart and Serbia retreat in First World War

‘Lady of the black horse’, by George Rankin

Just over 100 years ago, Mabel St Clair Stobart was forced to flee her field hospital in Belgrade, Serbia during the First World War.

One of many women who volunteered with the Red Cross, she was head of a hospital unit on the front line.

Events in the war were escalating. Serbia had been invaded – and lives and vital medical equipment were now in danger.

As head of the hospital, Mabel Stobart had to lead the sick and wounded, and the nurses, on an 800-mile escape over snow-capped mountains.

Yet most people have not heard her name – or know anything about her incredible life. More

Easy peasy cake recipe that’s 100 years old

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A young girl eats a cupcake

© PeopleImages

Let’s face it: cake is cool again.

But at the British Red Cross, we’ve been using cake to help change people’s lives for over a century.

After all, the quickest way to someone’s heart is through the stomach.

If you’re looking for ideas for your own tasty bake, here’s a delicious recipe crafted by some British Red Cross volunteers during the First World War.

They handed out this cake to soldiers on the front line, to line their stomachs and boost their spirits.

And now you can recreate it in just four easy steps.

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