The American Red Cross hosted the International Humanitarian Law Youth Action Campaign and Raid Cross at the Lakenheath High School here, Jan. 11-12.
The goal of the campaign is to teach youth about the law that governs armed conflict, International Humanitarian Law, while Raid Cross is a role-playing activity created by the Red Cross.
“We’re doing Raid Cross because a lot of the youth already have a basic knowledge of IHL,” said Lacie Clark, IHL Youth Action Campaign Coordinator and Station Volunteer Partner.
During the first day, Clark said, a prisoner of war scenario was presented utilizing U.S. Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialists, along with five other scenarios for the students to understand what actually happens in a war zone.
“This is opening their eyes and I hope they have a better understanding not only with the Red Cross, but also what our Department of Defense and the Air Force does in a wartime environment and knows that there are rules in place,” said a SERE Specialist from the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron.
The IHL Youth Action Campaign training was held on the second day and this year’s focus is on the protections of medical personnel and infrastructure in armed conflict. Students learned about the history of IHL and the Geneva Convention, the challenges health care workers face during armed conflicts, and how to design an IHL campaign.
“The Youth Action Campaign helps us teach our youth while they’re still forming their core values,” said Clark. “I’m hoping to get the kids to see that they are a part of something bigger, and that they’re working on this campaign that’s being done all across the world.”
Additionally, the students are planning to take the knowledge from this event to build similar campaigns in upcoming months, reaching out to youth in the local community.
Kylie Okura, Lakenheath High School Red Cross Club president and child of an active duty Airman, said she can see there’s more to the Red Cross and IHL than she realized before joining this program.
“We have a connection to the military so we get a real-life feeling of how our parents could potentially be in these situations,” said Okura.
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