Red Cross opens campaign to build new HQ


The Ethiopian Red Cross Society announced the commencement of its ‘one birr for humanity’ campaign on Thursday at the Hilton Hotel. The money from the campaign is to be used for the construction of its headquarters.
The 16 floor building will be built on a 5000sqm patch of land in Filwuha. The construction of the whole building is estimated to be 500 million birr. Midroc construction was contracted to construct the building.
“The building will serve as our headquarters,” said Frehiwot Worku, Secretary General of the society. “We are going to have our training center here. The remaining offices will be rented and the proceeds will go to the Society’s cause.”
The Red Cross collected nearly 23 million birr in the previous year by using an S.M.S messaging game. By the end of this year it plans to collect 27 million birr.
The society announced that it plans to approach institutions in the education sector, development organizations, investors, civil societies and public and private organizations for the campaign and expressed its hope that they will do their part.
“Assistance can come in the form of money, labor or knowledge,” said Dr. Ahmed Raja, newly installed president of ERCS. “We need all the help we can get,” he said.
The president said that the society can’t meet its goals purely by financial aid from abroad.  
Prominent members of major guilds pledged their willingness to help the society at the event. Among them are Mulu Teshome, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, Tadele Yimer, president of the Ethiopian Employers Federation and Fisseha Tsiontekle, General Secretary of the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU).
“We three will work as one in order to help the ERCS in this endeavor,” said Mulu during her speech. “Humanity crosses all boundaries of race, sex, age or vocation. Although our interests don’t usually align, we will work together just this once,”
The government had also promised  20 million birr in support every year for three consecutive years for the construction of the building back in November, at the society’s 16th general assembly. It had also raised the regular annual subsidy of the society from four million birr to five million.
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society was established on 8 July 1935. It works mainly on food security, disaster response, health, the promotion of humanitarian values and HIV/AIDS prevention and control. It has 11 regional offices, 27 zonal branches, 50 district branches and over 1500 committees if there is not a branch nearby.