First edition of recognitions on behalf of the GEAP to regular, voluntary and altruistic blood donors in Venezuela
Dr. William Soto, was present during the celebration on June 14th
To celebrate the World Blood Donor Day (June 14), the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP), presented its first edition of awards to honor the voluntary, altruistic and habitual blood donors, in a ceremony held in Venezuela.
As part of the Integral Program "Life is in the Blood", the GEAP held this ceremony to award the people who have joined this initiative to save lives and improve the quality of life of millions of patients in a voluntary and selfless way, for which they were recognized as heroes for life. (See: Integrated Program "Life is In the Blood”)
More than 1,500 people attended the ceremony, held at the International Center for Multiple Events (CIEM) in Valencia, state of Carabobo, with speeches, special participations, a donor parade and testimonials from people whose lives have been saved thanks to blood donation.
The international board of directors of the GEAP were present, along with national and regional coordinators of the institution, representation of blood banks from across the state and personalities in the health field were present as well.
The head table was composed of the Executive President of the GEAP, Dr. William Soto; Soledad Pérez, consultant to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Amelia Flores, representative of the Ministry of Popular Power for Health in Venezuela (MPPS); the general director of the GEAP, Gabriela Lara; and Ruth Bermudez, international coordinator of the blood drive program of the GEAP.
Mrs. Ruth, began the lectures with the presentation of the program "Life is in the Blood," in which she explained that the program consists of strategic components that include the Communicational Education Program (PEC-VIDA) (see here), and the International Campaign (marathons and blood drives) (see here). She also presented the objective of the GEAP’s first edition of recognitions.
"On this important day we will render a profound tribute by delivering a first edition of awards to all those volunteer donors who have donated blood to save other human beings, the heroes of life in our beautiful country, Venezuela," she said.
In his speech, Dr. Soto, author of the program, thanked the altruism and willingness of all donors who carried out this necessary action for humanity; in turn, he shared his joy of celebrating this day, which is also the date of his birthday.
"Today we celebrate life. Voluntary donation is more than a collection. It is an act of love, it’s the simplest act you can do to save thousands of lives. It is a privilege for me to celebrate with all of you."
The PAHO consultant noted that of all the World Days programmed by PAHO and approved by all countries, the World Blood Donor Day is solely dedicated to a promotional element of health and life. Mrs. Perez shared her own testimony on her rebirth in 2008, thanks to blood donations she received; as a Venezuelan and as an agent of the United Nations, she congratulated all those who believe in this altruistic act.
"Blood is an essential element in any health intervention, so it is important to have it. It is not a common voice or just any expression; it can actually save lives,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Flores, representing the MPPS, presented the goals of the National Blood Plan (2016-2019), whose central purpose is that 100% of donors are voluntary; in this way, to strengthen the capacity of the countries blood banks and hospitals. As the blood program adviser, she said: "There must be a connection between organizations, advocacy, donor and professionals from the health area."
Mrs. Flores spoke from her experience as a volunteer and regular donor, with a history of 23 years doing this altruistic act.
"Blood unites us, donating unites us, it promotes values in citizens; because doing so shows respect and commitment to our neighbor", she guaranteed.
The event also counted with the participation of representatives from blood banks in all regions of the country, and others who have worked along with the GEAP in the collecting of the vital liquid, hand in hand with the formation of a culture of habitual, altruistic and voluntary safe blood donation.
Among them, Ana Rosa Ruiz, representing the National Association of Hemotherapists, and Ynes Ochoa, as a delegate of the Regional Coordination of the Blood Banks in Lara state; and the Planta de Derivados Sanguíneos of the country (Quimbiotec) was also present.
Parade of Heroes
One by one the blood donors from different states who participated in the conferences and marathons organized by the GEAP since 2013 were named. (See: International Marathons Blood Donation).
The parade and awards were organized by categories using ranges set by the GEAP according to the number of donations, as a strategy to encourage regular and selfless donation. Courageous Donor (up to 4 donations), Indispensable Donor (up to 8 donations), Distinguished Donor (up to 12 donations), Humanitarian Donor (up to 25 donations) and National Hero Donor (up to 50 donations or more).
Around 200 citizens received the honor, and the first to receive the title of National Hero Donor, was Mr. Evelio Rodríguez, from the Carabobo state, with a number of 54 donations to date. Donors marched accompanied by the regional coordinators of the GEAP, who reaffirmed their commitment to developing activities within the program "Life is in the Blood."
This celebration was enlivened by the Symphony Orchestra of the GEAP, led by Prof. Osmin Rodriguez, and had lunch to close the event, which was offered by the GEAP in honor of all those present in Lidotel Valencia.
See: International Summary: Heroes in favor of life receive honor during World Blood Donor Day.