About Us | Mission & Fundamental Principles


In summary, the Red Cross Mission is to render services to prevent and alleviate human suffering. Here in South Africa, these include poverty, unemployment, crime, disease (HIV/Aids in particular) and natural disasters, and thus our principle concerns are to encourage and promote the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and the mitigation of suffering.

Each Red Cross Branch or Station applies the Mission in a way that best suits its own situation on the ground, and in Hermanus/Overstrand, our focus is upon Disaster Management Support, Medical Loans, First Aid Stations & Training, Home-base Care Training, Welfare & Feeding Schemes, and the Funding of Projects.

Fundamental Principles

The constitution of the South African Red Cross Society is based on the Geneva Conventions and the additional protocols, and on the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, namely:

  • HUMANITY - To prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found; to protect life and health, to foster human dignity in all communities and to promote mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all people.
  • IMPARTIALITY - It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It is guided solely by the needs of people, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
  • NEUTRALITY - It does not take sides nor participate in controversies.
  • INDEPENDENCE - As an auxiliary in the humanitarian services of the Government and subject to the law it maintains its autonomy so that it can at all times act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
  • VOLUNTARY SERVICE - It is a voluntary relief movement not promoted by desire for gain.
  • UNITY - There can only be one Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
  • UNIVERSALITY - It has equal status with all other National Societies and shares with those Societies the worldwide responsibilities and duties of helping each other.

The Red Cross Creed

  • I believe in the service of mercy, wherever disaster calls, there shall I go to alleviate suffering and sorrow, I ask not who calls but go where I am needed.
  • I have no price for my service but accept gratitude, that out of its largess I may expand my mission, I have no barriers of race, class, creed or country, no barriers of ideology, no obstacles of rivers, mountains, continents of seas.
  • Wherever human beings are in need, there will I go to minister unto misery under the banner of merciful fraternal love.
  • Whether it be an earthquake, a landslide, fire or flood, ravages of war or disease, all these find me ready for my service.
  • I serve all because I am of all, having been born of the finest instincts of mankind and having faith in God and His Merciful love of all.
  • You who believe in me, you, so many of whom I have mothered in your sons and daughters, strengthen my hand and reanimate my courage, for I am the spirit of humanity marching beneath her cross.

The Red Cross Pledge

I, faithful to the ideals of the Red Cross, aware of my humanitarian mission, pledge myself to help my fellowman, to alleviate suffering, to fight against the causes of poverty, sickness and death. I will always be ready to serve, in humility, without thought of personal gain, with all my heart.

The Red Cross Prayer

O most merciful and loving Father, Who through Thy Holy Scriptures has taught us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, grant that all those who are called to do the sacred work of the Red Cross Society in the improvement of health, the prevention of disease, the mitigation of suffering, may always remember that they are fellow-workers with Thee. Give to them such patience, gentleness, tact and love, that they may by the beauty of their lives win many sick, suffering and dying souls to Thee.