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Thursday, May 15, 2014

World Traveler to Discuss one of Most Powerful International Symbols

What does the symbol of the Red Cross and Red Crescent signify across international borders? For emergency services volunteer Claudia Giannetti, it is a symbol of trust that transcends language, culture and geography. Giannetti, who will speak on the theme of “Universality” at this month’s Lunch & Learn event, knows the global implications of this trust better than most. Giannetti began her volunteer career with the Red Cross during the Colorado flood relief, and has since volunteered in emergency situations in Mexico and her native Argentina. Her professional career has taken her abroad throughout Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and South America, including a recent stint in Nairobi, Kenya, where she worked for both the Argentinean and American Embassies.
Claudia Gianneti, volunteering in  Argentina

“If you walk into a situation, it doesn’t matter what country you are in, if you tell people, ‘I am from the Red Cross,’ there is a relief and a trust from people because they know that you’re there to help,” Giannetti said. “That was my major strength when working abroad.”

For Giannetti, “Universality” encompasses the many ways that the Red Cross/Red Crescent mission is achieved across international boundaries. She explains that although each country’s approach may be adapted to the unique needs of a local situation, the end goal remains the same: to prevent and alleviate the suffering of those affected by conflict and disaster.

“There is that universality,” she said. “Every country and every chapter, even, needs to adapt to serve those goals, but the fundamentals are the same.”

The Lunch & Learn lecture will be presented Wednesday, May 21, from noon to 1 p.m. at the American Red Cross, 444 Sherman St. RSVPs are requested by 12 p.m. Monday, May 19 to Tim Bothe at Tim.Bothe2@redcross.org. WebEx options are also available for remote audiences. For more information, contact Tim Bothe.

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