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Dunant, aged 13, was named after Red Cross founder Henry Dunant. Photo: Alexandra Peard, NRCS. 


Dedicated volunteer names son after Red Cross founder

By Saara Ipinge, Namibia Red Cross Society

One hundred and fifty years after Henry Dunant founded the Red Cross, a boy in Namibia bears his name, after his father, a local volunteer was inspired by his humanitarian legacy.

Zatuaporuuma Bride Kavari is one of the longest serving volunteers at theNamibia Red Cross, having worked for more than 14 years at the Kunene regional Red Cross branch. He started volunteering with the Red Cross in 1999 and a year later his wife gave birth to a boy. “When he was still in his mother’s tummy, I named him Dunant after Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross Movement, because I was inspired by his work,” says Kavari.

His son Mazembuavi Dunant, now aged 13, is in grade seven at Kamanjab Primary School. Dunant says his father teaches him about his namesake, how the Red Cross was created and the principles it abides by.

Kavari is still an active Red Cross volunteer and smiles as he describes his work as part of the team establishing water points and training committees in his community. He also coaches community members in participatory hygiene and sanitation techniques, designed to improve hygiene and sanitation behaviour and the communities’ management of water and sanitation facilities.

“I live in the same community where I volunteer, so I have a vested interest in helping those around me. I’m proud to be contributing to the sustained livelihoods of my community,” says Kavari.

It is because of Henry Dunant’s work that Kavari says he can wake up each day and volunteer with the Red Cross. Why does he do it? “It makes a difference,” he says.