Hong Kong Red Cross - Walking Side by Side with Hong Kong People for 70 Years Responding to Society Needs in Different Times Striving to Care for the Vulnerable 70th Anniversary of Hong Kong Red Cross “Build.Humanity.Together”


Walking Side by Side with Hong Kong People for 70 Years Responding to Society Needs in Different Times Striving to Care for the Vulnerable 70th Anniversary of Hong Kong Red Cross “Build.Humanity.Together”


(Hong Kong, 8 May 2020) Despite the fact that Hong Kong is not a common place for disasters, it has nonetheless experienced many unexpected calamities in varying degrees, such as pandemic diseases, devastating typhoons, severe traffic accidents, and social movements etc. These unfortunate events have taken a certain toll on the livelihood of the people in Hong Kong. Reminiscing the past and up to date, the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) always stands firm on our post, accompanies the people in Hong Kong during good and difficult moments and constantly strives to support those in need. In 2020, the HKRC is celebrating the 70th anniversary with the theme of “Build.Humanity.Together”. We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all sectors of the society that have been in one way or another participating and supporting our humanitarian work. We are looking forward to integrating the strength of society to live up to humanity together and benefitting more people in need.


Staying True to Founding and Step-Up to Face Difficulties Head On

Ms Bonnie So, Secretary General of the HKRC, expressed, “In the past years of emergency outbreak comprising of typhoons, social events, and epidemics etc. The HKRC has been actively providing various humanitarian services through different channels for people in need. It has fulfilled the motto of Henry Dunant, Founder of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – “All can, in one way or another, each in his own sphere and within his own limitations, do something to help the good work move forward” We have had experienced the highs and lows in this 70 years with the Hong Kong people. We are particularly thankful for the support from the society. In times of good and bad, we join hands with the Hong Kong people to face difficulties. In the future, we would continue to proactively respond to the local and international needs arising from different emergencies and disasters.”


Growing Together with Hong Kong for 70 Years

Since its establishment in 1950, the HKRC has rolled out different types of services in response to social development and needs. Spanning across the blood donation, tracing service, local disaster and preparedness, special education, youth and volunteer development in the early years to the emergency relief, overseas emergency relief, community care, health education, psychological support and humanitarian education in recent years, it has constantly been striving to serve the society. Beginning from a team of barely dozens of people, it has gradually evolved into a humanitarian platform with more than 20,000 volunteers and staff members. Some of the services provided over the past 70 years are listed as follows:


  • 1950s: The first volunteer team of the HKRC was founded to make surgical dressings for use in public hospitals. Launched tracing and Blood Transfusion Service. Established the first Hospital School in Lai Chi Kok Hospital. Set up the first Junior Unit of Red Cross Uniformed Group. Distributed relief items to more than 40,000 people affected by the Shek Kip Mei Fire.


  • 1960s: Distributed relief items to those affected by Typhoon Wanda. The Holiday Camp at Shek Pik, Lantau Island was opened for use. The Hong Kong Red Cross Princess Alexandra School and the Hong Kong Red Cross John F. Kennedy Centre started to serve the children with physical disabilities.


  • 1970s: The first mobile hospital library was set up in Ruttonjee Hospital. The HKRC participated in the promotion of industrial first aid and related trainings. Since 1975, the HKRC has provided services such as tracing services, supplies distribution, medical treatment and education for Vietnamese refugees.


  • 1980s: The Medical Equipment Loan Service for children was initiated. The Apheresis Donation Service was also set up. Hostel for physically disabled youth in Tsz Wan Shan was relocated to Shun Lee Estate, also renamed as “Shun Lee Hostel”, to provide accommodation for the mentally handicapped. Located in Southorn Centre at Wan Chai, the Youth & Welfare Department Hong Kong Island Headquarters had begun.


  • 1990s: Provided assistance to raise funds for the people affected by the flooding in the eastern China. Set up the first Elderly Unit of Uniformed Group. Sent a medical volunteer to Africa and Kenya for the first time participating in overseas humanitarian work. Blood Transfusion Service rolled out the first free Cord Blood Bank in Hong Kong.


  • 2000 to 2009: In response to the outbreak of SARS, the HKRC distributed infection control items to the elderly and patients with chronic illnesses. The HKRC supported the relief and reconstruction work for the tsunami in South Asia and set up overseas disaster relief offices in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the heavily suffered areas. Dispatched the first medical team to provide help to the 512 earthquake-stricken areas in Sichuan. For the first time in history, the HKRC drove the promotion of “International Service Leadership Programme” in colleges and universities. Organized “Hong Kong Humanity Award” which was the very first of its kind in Hong Kong, advocating the spirit of humanity.


  • 2010 to 2019: The HKRC dispatched clinical psychologists to West Africa to participate in the operation and health education for the Ebola virus. Responding to the attack by Typhoon Mangkhut, the HKRC provided the residents with pre-disaster warnings as well as relief items and home cleaning services afterwards. In the social incidents in 2019, over 2,000 volunteers and staff were mobilized to provide nearly 300 times of first aid and psychological support services. The war-themed exploration programme “War Zone 90” – the first of its kind in Asia was initiated, allowing the public to have personal experiences on the devastating harm and humanitarian values in war.


  • 2020: In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, infection control items have been distributed to the vulnerable communities and psychological support services were provided to those in need. Emergency support services were also given to people in quarantine. Health and hygiene knowledge were disseminated to the public through various channels.


A big thank you to all the support from all walks of life in the past years, such that the implementation of humanitarian work can be so smooth sailing. The enthusiastic participation of the volunteers in the HKRC has laid an important foundation for our work. Mr Ha Kwok-chi has always participated in the relief, youth development and first aid services of the HKRC in the capacity of a volunteer. He said, “The voluntary work have made me realize how vulnerable the victims are in face of devastating disasters. I participated in the HKRC relief services for Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s and I also visited the Typhoon Haiyan disaster areas in the Philippines in 2014. The experiences of the affected people made me understand the importance of humanitarian work in times of crisis. The HKRC has always been offering help to those most in need in the first instance regardless of race and national boundaries. Each volunteer has different expertise. And coupled with professional trainings and courses, it enabled us to fully grapple with the knowledge and skillsets required in frontline work.”


From 2018 to 2019, more than 1.47 million people times had benefitted from the humanitarian work of the HKRC. Mr Kwok Lup-chun was a former student at the Hong Kong Red Cross John F. Kennedy Centre. To date, he is a radio programme host and case manager at a legal aid agency. He suffered from congenital cerebral palsy and had to reside in a wheelchair until he was 9 years old. He was not enrolled in any school at that time. He recalled, “The HKRC had changed my life! Under the tutelage of principals, teachers and social workers, I spent three years to complete a six-year primary school curriculum. Thereafter, I was promoted to secondary school, university and then master’s degree. I am very grateful to the school as it provided help to me when I was most in need. It bestowed an education to me enabling me to learn to love myself and others and change my destiny with the power of knowledge.”


70th Anniversary Activity Preview

HKRC will organize three activities to celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2020 so that the public can further understand our humanitarian work and humanity spirit.



Charity Fundraising Luncheon cum Forum

“Build HUMANITY Together” Interactive Exhibition

Major Fundraising Competition


28 September, Monday

17 October, Saturday

6 December, Sunday


The Mira Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui

Parade Ground of Tai Kwun, Central

HKRC Headquarters and Yau Tsim Mong District


Non-profit organisations, business stakeholders, volunteers of the HKRC, students, representatives from International Red Cross and the Red Cross Society of China

General public

Team enrolment by the public and corporations

Contents of Activities

To enhance participants’ understanding of  humanitarian issues

Reminiscing the trails of Hong Kong Red Cross walking side by side with Hong Kong people for 70 years and introducing its service development.

The participating teams will join a city hunt competition with checkpoints and point-adding stations along the route. They need to complete different humanitarian missions within a specified time frame.



HKRC is celebrating its 70th anniversary with its theme of “Build.Humanity.Together”. HKRC would like to use this opportunity to express its gratitude and appreciation to all sectors of the society that have been in one way or another participating and supporting all kinds of its humanity works.


The new headquarters of HKRC in West Kowloon was opened in 2015 and is an all-round and comprehensive humanitarian platform.


"Give Blood Save LIfe"-In the early years, many citizens came to the headquarters of the Red Cross, 33 Harcourt Road, Admiralty, to donate blood.


In the 1950s, HKRC Lady Volunteer Women’s Team made gauze bandages and cotton balls for public hospitals.


In the 1960s, HKRC distributed relief items from United Kingdom to those affected by Typhoon Wanda.


In the 1970s, HKRC provided tracing service to Vietnamese refugees.


In the 1980s, HKRC provided whole-person education for children with disabilities. The picture shows a teacher of hospital school teaching sick children.


In the 1990s, HKRC enhanced the development of uniformed groups and promoted volunteer services.


During the outbreak of SARS in 2003, HKRC went to the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate to promote health and epidemic prevention knowledge.


In response to the social situation in 2019, HKRC provided first aid and psychological support services.


In response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, 54,000 epidemic prevention items have been distributed to the vulnerable groups.


About the Hong Kong Red Cross

For details, please visit www.redcross.org.hk.


Media Enquiries

Ashley To, Corporate Communications Manager  (+852 2507 7749/ashley.to@redcross.org.hk)

Keily To, Assistant Corporate Communications Manager  (+852 2507 7115/keily.to@redcross.org.hk)