Mamadou Noumou Diallo, 42, centre, with his family and friends at his coffee bar in southeast Guinea. The Red Cross volunteer survived Ebola and vows to keep up the fight against the deadly virus. Photo: A. Kapete, IFRC

Mamadou Noumou Diallo, 42, centre, with his family and friends at his coffee bar in southeast Guinea. The Red Cross volunteer survived Ebola and vows to keep up the fight against the deadly virus. Photo: A. Kapete, IFRC

In a remote village in southeast Guinea, a mother and her children are reunited with the husband and father they once feared they had lost to the Ebola virus disease.

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I am honoured to be invited to this Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact
of Nuclear Weapons, and to have this opportunity to share a little of my childhood
experience of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

As a 13-year-old schoolgirl I witnessed my city of Hiroshima blinded by the flash,
flattened by the hurricane like blast, burned in the heat of 4000 degrees Celsius
and contaminated by the radiation of one atomic bomb. A bright summer
morning turned to dark twilight with smoke and dust rising in the mushroom
cloud…

Irish Red Cross staff in Liberia + west Africa + Ebola

Melvin, one of the Safe and Dignified Burials team members, told me that his wife worries a lot and the risks of his job and that she prays every day for him to come home safely. He acknowledges her fears but believes that the risks are manageable and it’s a job that must be done.

“It’s about keeping people safe and healthy in my country. If we didn’t do this, more people would get sick. I feel a responsibility to do it.”

Like Patricia, Masa, 29, is relieved to be leaving the centre and looks forward to seeing her family, but the loss of her child, who was admitted to the centre with her, makes her return bittersweet. “My mother and father are waiting for me, but it is difficult to go back without my baby,” Masa explains.

Masa is not the only survivor to return to her home without a loved one. Zaina Bangura, 38, also from Freetown, entered the treatment centre with four of her five children. Her husband had already died at home from Ebola. Zaina nursed him during his illness, as well as their children, despite becoming sick herself. As Zaina prepares to return home, she will do so alone. Her four children died while at the treatment centre.

Zaina looks to the future with much uncertainty, but is determined to care for her one remaining child. “I used to sell cooked rice, but now I have no money to buy rice because my husband used to give me money. I want to start up a new business, but maybe people will not buy from me.”

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John* from Cloynes, county Monaghan, was shortlisted for 2014 national Irish Red Cross Carer of the Year after winning the regional heat for Ireland’s North-East. John came joint-runner up for the national title at the annual Irish Red Cross awards ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House on Friday, 14th November 2014.

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Nora Doherty from Doneraile, county Cork, has devoted 53 years of her life to caring for more than 10 members of her family and extended family. All of whom were sick or unable to care for themselves. Mrs Doherty, who is in her 80’s, now cares for her husband, also in his 80’s, who has hip knee and heart problems.

Irma Cruz Roasa, a retired director of nursing, lives next to the beach in Tacloban. Here she recounts her experience of when Haiyan hit.

Irma Cruz Roasa, a retired director of nursing, lives next to the beach in Tacloban. Here she recounts her experience of when Haiyan hit.

Living next to the beach in south Tacloban for many decades, Irma Cruz Roasa, a retired director of nursing, is used to strong storms. Over her lifetime the city has been battered by bad weather. Despite this, she wasn’t prepared for what happened early on the morning of November 8 last year, when a large dredger washed up on the beach just two metres from her house.

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One year ago Typhoon Haiyan made land fall in the Philippines. Killing thousands of people and leaving millions homeless.

With your help. we are still helping communities in the Philippines to recover.

The Red Cross has, to date, built more than 6,000 homes and given building materials or cash to more than 13,500 households for shelter repairs.

Traditional bangka outrigger boats such as the one pictured are used to sail or motor between the thousands of Philippine islands. This one is moored at a remote island community in the Calamian Island group, northern Palawan. Kate Marshall/IFRC

Traditional bangka outrigger boats such as the one pictured are used to sail or motor between the thousands of Philippine islands. This one is moored at a remote island community in the Calamian Island group, northern Palawan. Kate Marshall/IFRC

In July, Kate Marshall visited Tagbanwa in the Philippines where the Irish Red Cross is working with the Philippine and Swiss Red Cross societies to help villagers affected by Typhoon Haiyan’

Manuel Beron resident of Barangay Biasong in the Philippines.

Manuel Beron resident of Barangay Biasong in the Philippines.

My name is Manuel Beron. I am 48 years old, I live in Barangay Biasong in the Philippines and I have 7 children. I used to be a farmer but these days I sell charcoal. During Typhoon Yolanda (aka Typhoon Haiyan), I felt like it was the last day of my life because of the strong winds. Yolanda broke my house. During the typhoon, we did not come to any rehabilitation centre, we just stayed at the house. All my chickens died. My vegetable plants were gone. That just scared me most; not for only myself, but also my children, and my wife.