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From Baltimore to Uganda: Students Helping Students
Red Cross Youth Meets Secretary of State
Law of War Revisited

Summer Fun and Leadership Development
Somalian Refugees to Reside in Baltimore

From Baltimore to Uganda: Students Helping Students

Maryland students are participating in a service-learning project with far-reaching implications through the third Annual Red Cross International School Chest Initiative 2003. Students in Maryland are helping children in Uganda, by donating much-needed school supplies.

The school chests collected through the Maryland to Uganda School Chest Initiative will support ongoing efforts to vaccinate all children from measles, the number one preventable killer of children in Uganda (please see additional information attached). The school supply distribution will occur while thousands of young people congregate to receive this life-saving inoculation. Ugandan families must underwrite the expense of school supplies, uniforms, and other hidden fees. School Chests help to mitigate this problem and provide further incentives for children to attend the mass vaccinations.

The goal of the project is to collect 250 or more school chests - providing supplies for over 10,000 youth in Uganda. With all Maryland schools, after-school programs, and youth groups participating, this will be the largest School Chest effort in the history of the American Red Cross—surpassing last year’s record of 190 chests!

For more information log onto or call Andrea Hammes at 410-764-7000, ext. 3009.

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Red Cross Youth Meets Secretary of State

Red Cross youth volunteer Salmah Rizvi of Howard County recently met Secretary of State Colin Powell during a Youth Town Hall taping on (BET) Black Entertainment Television news program, mediated by veteran journalist Ed Bradley. Student leaders from Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia were asked to participate in the audience.

When Salmah was asked to recruit other Muslim students, she successfully recruited 17 of her peers from the Central Maryland area including Cumberland and Montgomery counties to join her for an exciting evening in the Nation’s capital. Twelve of the 125 students had the opportunity to ask questions. To view a copy of the transcript, log onto
About Salmah...

Somalian Refugees to Reside in Baltimore

Over 200 Bantu Somali refugees are scheduled to relocate to Baltimore City in early spring. The American Red Cross and the Baltimore Refugee Resettlement Program are working together to mentor and help these families learn about customs and our educational system. Nayantara Basu-Sen, Refugee Youth Project Coordinator for the American Red Cross of Central Maryland, has spearheaded the committee that recruited and trained nearly 80 volunteers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Morgan State University, Goucher College and the University of Maryland School of Social Work to help tutor the Bantu Somali families in reading, math, English and art.

The Red Cross Refugee Youth Program is in its third year of helping local refugees to become acclimated to the west. The students hold tutorials on Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Located on the coast of east Africa, Somali is 246,000 square miles, making it about the size of Texas. The country’s climate has an average maximum temperature between 85° F to 105° F and minimum temperatures between 68° F and 85° F. The Somalian government has formal educational training to the Bantu people. The lack of schools in Bantu residential areas, along with an unfamiliar language used as the medium of instruction, are among the obstacles to education faced by the rural Bantu.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Refugee Youth Program is seeking volunteers with a background in art therapy for a monthly “Arts Day.” The committee is also seeking individuals with a background in teaching, working with teens and/or English as a Second Language to develop a curriculum to bolster its literacy program.

For more information or a volunteer application contact, [email protected] or call 410-764-7000, ext. 4708. Back to Top

Students and counselors from Leadership Development Camp 2002.

Student volunteers can change the world. Get involved!

Law of War Revisited

International Humanitarian Law is the body of laws and principles that seeks to save lives and alleviate suffering of combatants and noncombatants during armed conflicts. Its principal legal documents are the Geneva Conventions of 1949, four treaties signed by almost all states (nations) around the world.

The Geneva Conventions protect members of the armed forces who are wounded, sick or shipwrecked, prisoners of war, and civilians. (Also sometimes referred to as "the law of armed conflict" or the "law of war." The Geneva Conventions provide the legal foundation for the vital work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as it seeks to provide protection and assistance to victims of conflict worldwide. For more information log onto

About Salmah Rizvi
Salmah was born in Indonesia and has traveled extensively visiting a dozen European cities. Now a student at Atholton High School in Howard County, she has an impressive list of leadership roles to her credit, including the Muslim Student Awareness Club which is open to anyone desiring to help educate others about Islam.

Within Howard County, Salmah bolstered her leadership skills as President of the Howard County Association of Student Councils. Most meaningful, however, to Salmah is her job as the youngest Human Rights Commissioner of Howard County

Salmah represented the Central Maryland Chapter last summer at the International Environmental Youth Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland - the youngest of four students from the United States. Sponsored by the Red Cross, the conference hosted students from 23 Red Cross chapters nationwide.

Salmah is also Class President, a member of the Math Engineering Science Achievement Club (MESA), head of the Red Cross Club, Step Captain and a band member.
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Summer Fun and Leadership Development
The Central Maryland Red Cross will host an overnight Leadership Development Camp this July 21-25, 2003 in Middletown, Maryland. Camp participants will receive professional and leadership training in public speaking and fundraising. as well as Red Cross training in such areas as CPR, crime avoidance and international humanitarian law.

The camp facility at Skycroft Conference Center offers air-conditioned rooms, an outdoor pool, hiking trails, and an indoor gym all in a natural setting. Youth entering 10th or 11th grade in the fall are encouraged to apply. The cost per student is $185, which includes lodging, transportation, and all meals and materials. Need more information or a student application?

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