New Zealand Red Cross sent ten aid workers to South Sudan last year. Some were nurses, others hospital managers, and one was a security advisor.

Ward nurse Erin O’Connor was based in the already overstretched International Committee of the Red Cross surgical team in Malakal when fighting first broke out. The team’s workload increased drastically.

“We were trying to manage a large influx of wounded people with limited resources and barely any local staff, many of whom were, unfortunately, affected by the fighting," she said.

“Seeing conflict first hand is a devastating reality but it is amazing to be a part of a team working to do all we could for the local people to relieve their suffering.”

Highly experienced Red Cross aid worker, Judy Owen, also worked in South Sudan last year. She has since returned home and says that it’s the people, especially the children that she remembers.

“I had a little girl in the field hospital. She was six years old but looked about four. She was really sick so we gave her IV fluids and within one and a half hours she just sat up. She’d had a high fever and malaria but she was just dehydrated. Usually when kids see me they cry - I think it’s the white hair. But every time she saw me she grinned. She was cute – she followed me around the hospital for the rest of the time I was there.”

Last year New Zealand Red Cross sent 44 aid workers overseas to 25 different countries insupport of 57 missions. The work of our courageous aid workers is essential to helping people in crisis. By donating today you can ensure that New Zealand Red Cross will always be there to provide that help.