[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShgBMTC82Tk]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have launched a joint online initiative on 8 April to raise awareness of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and to show what individuals are doing to make a meaningful difference.

The new web portal, www.ourworld-yourmove.org, puts the spotlight on the human cost of wars, climate change, displacement, disease, food insecurity and forgotten crises. It also invites members of the public to post videos and photos, and write about what they are doing to help others. The online gateway features images from award-winning photographers such as James Nachtwey and Ron Haviv, personal accounts from conflict and disaster survivors, and a wealth of ideas for anyone looking for ways to be involved.

The site’s launch in 2009 coincides with the 150th anniversary of the battle of Solferino, which led to the creation of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

“The idea of the Red Cross was born 150 years ago when one individual, Henry Dunant, decided to take action to help thousands of soldiers, who were wounded near Solferino in northern Italy. His legacy lives on today in the selfless acts of all those around the world who offer hope in a moment of need or despair,” said Yves Daccord, the ICRC’s director of communications. “Each day, there are countless stories of unsung courage and achievement just waiting to be told. We want the web portal to be a place where someone who is making a difference in one corner of the world can inspire someone on the opposite side of the globe.”

The ourworld-yourmove.org web portal exists in English, French, Spanish and Arabic and serves as an online gateway for individuals looking to make a difference. For the first time, the IFRC and ICRC have placed special emphasis on engaging social media sites in an effort to connect with a broader global audience.

“We’ve made a real effort to capitalize on the tremendous scope of social networking and new media sites in order to reach beyond our typical support base and build a partnership with the public,” said Pierre Kremer, the head of communications for the IFRC. “We hope to generate a lot of excitement around what we do and why it matters, and encourage people to join us in taking action in their communities, and to make a difference in the lives of people around them.”

As part of the online initiative, a new 60-second 3D video was launched on YouTube on 8 April. An innovative technique that renders still photographs into animation was used to make the video. Both the online clip and the www.ourworld-yourmove.org site offer a sneak preview of what the public can expect when the “Our world. Your move.” campaign officially launches on 8 May, which is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day.

– Press Statement by IFRC/ICRC