Members and Volunteers
Do you know Red Cross Volunteers? With a history of more than 65 years in the Japanese Red Cross Society, they have expanded their activities, acting mainly in groups, and keep breathing new life into regional communities and schools with their engaging activities. Why don’t you join us in our activities to protect the lives and wellbeing of people as a Red Cross Volunteer? If you live in Japan, please call the chapter prefecture (more information here)
Members are the foundation of the Japanese Red Cross Society. Members not only financially support Red Cross operations through their membership fees; they also play a role in determining the overall direction of the enterprise by contributing to the decision making process in areas such as budget and project planning.
Membership is comprised of individuals and corporations who endorse the Society’s activities and pay an annual membership fee of 500 yen or more. As of March 31, 2014, the JRCS was being supported by a total of approximately 9.61 million individual members and 120,000 corporate members.
The title of Special Member is bestowed upon those who have contributed large membership fees or donations or have rendered distinguished services, and a Golden Order of Merit (medal) or Silver Order of Merit (shield) is presented according to the value of the contribution or the type of service.
All members have the following rights:
- To vote to elect members of the Board of Representatives and executive officers of the Japanese Red Cross Society and to be considered for election to these posts
- To receive annual activity and financial reports concerning the Society. (Public notices can be substituted for these reports)
- Through members of the Board of Representatives elected in their locale, to express opinions regarding the management of the Society’s programmes
The Japanese Red Cross Society operates 104 medical institutions, 19 facilities for training nurses and other personnel, 234 blood programme establishments, and 29 social welfare facilities. Over 65,000 staff are employed at these facilities, where they carry out work according to policies established by the Society’s Board of Representatives.
The Red Cross Volunteer Corps is a volunteer group bringing together people who are willing to carry out humanitarian activities which form the core of the Red Cross mission. The beginning of these Red Cross volunteer activities can be traced back to 1887 with the establishment of Ladies’ Volunteer Nursing Association.
The current Red Cross Volunteer Corps was established in 1948 with the assistance of an advisory body sent to Japan by the American Red Cross after the Second World War.
Rapid social change in recent years is creating a gap: the needs and values of local communities are quickly diversifying, while relationships between people and their communities progressively weaken. The Red Cross Volunteer Corps therefore tackles challenges in a variety of fields including childcare, nursing care, disaster prevention and environmental concerns. The public has high expectations for the Red Cross Volunteer Corps (approximately 3000 strong nationwide) to develop community-based solutions to these challenges. There is, however, an increasing disparity between the surge in community needs and the decreasing numbers of the Corps, which is propelled by the rapidly aging population.
In light of these circumstances – and with the hope of reinvigorating its activities – the Red Cross Volunteer Corps has and continues to strengthen its training system, encouraging the rise of a greater number of better qualified volunteer leaders.
The Corps is also implementing a series of case studies, workshops and drills pertaining but not limited to the following: assisting the elderly, ensuring the sound development of youth, disaster relief and prevention, dissemination of Red Cross principles and ideals, fundraising, and HIV/AIDS prevention and education. The latter is conducted through a peer education system in order to facilitate communication and sensitization of younger generations. Volunteers are also trained to be adaptable when cooperating with various government authorities in response to the diversifying needs of the local community. The JRCS is now also increasing its online presence via publications on its official website and other media. This serves to promote the activities undertaken by the Corps in the public eye.