Dr. William Soto was present during the first edition of acknowledgments of the GEAP to voluntary, altruistic, and habitual donors in Venezuela
To celebrate the World Blood Donor Day (14 of June), the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP), carried out diverse events along with the blood bank and health centers in Latin America, United States, and Spain, to pay tribute to voluntary, altruistic, and habitual donors.
During the celebration recognitions, blood drive marathons, marches, lectures on awareness and education were carried out. Among these activities, the main event was carried out in the Republic of Venezuela, where the first edition of awards that the GEAP grants to people who have decided to save lives with their donation, with the distinction of heroes for life.
The blood banks and other health entities that have worked with the GEAP in the development of the International Marathons of the Integral Program “Life is in the Blood,” made a special invitation to the institution, to attend the events that were programed on this date, and they granted awards for the work that it has increased the recollection of this vital liquid and the sowing of a culture of voluntary and habitual donation.
Among the distinctions received by the Embassy, a reference is made to the one granted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Columbia, and also by the Catalan Federation of Blood Donors in Spain.
During the festivities, the GEAP emphasized that they have found in voluntary donation a bond that people in different countries share so thay can come together to mutually save lives and improve the condition of millions of people, having blood inventories secured and stocked. (See: International Program “Life is in the Blood”)
Through these events, they supported the WHO objectives for this year with the Campaign “Blood connects us all,” centered in thanking the donors for their donations, underlining the dimension of solidarity and the connection that exists between donor and patient. (See WHO: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-blood-donor-day/2016/event/en/)
Likewise, during the date, the GEAP carried out the 7th International Blood Drive Marathon “Life is in the Blood”, and through this it contributes to the success of the objective of the WHO, that from here to 2020 all countries obtain their supply from unpaid voluntary blood donations.
In Venezuela the first edition of GEAP awards was held
In the presence of the international board directors, national coordinators of the institution in other countries, regional coordinators, representation of blood banks from the whole State, and healthcare personalities, the GEAP presented the first edition of awards for voluntary, altruistic, and habitual donors in Venezuela.
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 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.
Dr. Soto, in his intervention, expressed:
"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."
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).
Blood donor week in Argentina
To recognize the voluntary and altruistic labor of blood donors in Argentina, the GEAP organized, along with blood banks and health centers the blood donor week. In the cities of: Buenos Aires, San Salvador de Jujuy, Tres Arroyos, Mar del Plata, Olavarría, Resistencia, Mendoza, and Córdoba a special emphasis was made in the promotion and diffusion of the importance of blood donation, outlining the altruistic labor of volunteers. Likewise, marathons were carried out for the recollection of this vital liquid, within the framework of the 7th Marathon.
The marathons were carried out in public and busy places, as well as in local blood banks, with the participation of hundreds of citizens, municipal authorities from the healthcare field. Around 250 people gave their contribution towards life.
Other activities carried out to celebrate the ephemeris was a walk in the city of Mendoza, and a bike ride in Olavarria, both events were greatly accepted by citizens.
National Feast in Bolivia by altruistic and habitual heroes
In Bolivia, the festivity covered various cities; in Santa Cruz along with the Regional Blood Bank, the activists celebrated by extending their arm to save lives, and during the event they were given recognitions, among them the volunteers with the most donations as “heroes of life” and the GEAP for the all the blood drives carried out.
In the department of Cochabamba, a march was held as part of the celebration, with a display honoring the voluntary and habitual donors; and in the city of La Paz, along with the Regional Blood Bank and the Red Cross Subsidiary “La Paz,” the GEAP developed blood drive marathons within the framework of the 7th International Marathon, and the realization of awareness lectures with the participation of Army soldiers.
Searching for the 180,000 anonymous heroes that Chile needs
The celebration in the Republic of Chile, was carried out in the cities of: Santiago, Valparaíso, Talcahuano y Los Ángeles, these last two belong to the 8th region of the country. Blood drive marathons were carried out along with awareness marathons, with the objective of adding donors to the minimum goal, which corresponds to 1% of the population according to WHO, which is 180,000 volunteers.
In the metropolitan region, around 70 people joined this act of love and donors who have donated more than three times in the last 12 months were recognized. Also, in the 8th region a number of 64 effective donations were registered. On another note, in Valparaiso, the activities of celebration included students of diverse institutions of the region, in an event aimed at raising awareness in youths on the necessity and importance of blood donation.
The PAHO and health entities in Columbia recognized the labor the GEAP
Within the framework of the 7th International Blood Drive Marathon of the GEAP, the Columbians celebrated on June 14 by donating the sap of life through simultaneous marathons amongst cultural and artistic expressions in Barranquilla, Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, Ibagué, Manizales, Medellín, Palmira, Rionegro (Antioquia) y Soacha (Cundinamarca), in coordination with healthcare institutions of the area, blood banks, governmental entities, and private corporations.
During the celebration, the GEAP received a recognition from the PAHO, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Distal Secretary of Health (DSH), for the labor carried out as an institute promoting a cultural of voluntary, altruistic, and habitual safe blood donation
Costa Rica celebrated the will of blood donors in their annual festivity
The National Blood Bank of Costa Rica along with the GEAP celebrated the festivity with a day of blood donation where around 200 volunteers from private corporations and the metropolitan area assisted.
Spain celebrated the day of the heroes of the human family with diverse events
In the cities of Tarragona, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca y Sevilla, a joint effort along with the GEAP, blood banks and health centers, permitted the promotion of voluntary and habitual blood donation, within the framework of the annual celebration. They highlighted the marathons held in the Hospital Saint Joan of Reus and the Hospital Bellvitge of Barcelona, which extended throughout the week.
The event in Cajasol, Sevilla was also evident, with the presence of the mayor of the city, Sr. Juan Espadas and the director of the Transfusion Center of Sevilla; in this marathon more than 500 people came to give life.
Another important activity was the annual Assembly of the Association of Blood Donors, in the community of Catalonia, carried out by the Blood and Tissue Bank of Catalonia (BTB) and the Catalan Federation of Blood Donors, with the assistance of more than 600 people. In this act, the GEAP along with other entities, obtained recognition for the promotion of voluntary blood donation.
In the United States, the GEAP promoted the celebration in different states
The GEAP celebrated Donor Day in Texas, the celebration came to the General Consul of Mexico during the 7th Marathon. Also, dozens of youths and adults from different towns received educational talks on blood donations, and afterwards they were received by the professional team of the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, to give their contribution of life.
In the cities of Dallas and Waco, blood drive marathons were also conducted with red balloons, posters, and flyers, to promote the importance of this voluntary and altruistic act. Likewise, in the state of New Mexico and El Paso-TX, activities were carried out in centers and public places.
In the northeast of the United States events of the celebration were also registered in the states of Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, and Maryland with blood drive marathons that involved, among others, the Lynn Police Department, with dozens of agents and the Academy of Massachusetts, with the participation of students and professors of the institution.
Ecuador celebrates the increment of donors in the last years
In Quito, the GEAP received a cordial invitation from the Ministry of Public Health (MPH) to participate in the Edu-Communicational Fair, in which fun activities were carried out, giving recognition on the importance, process, and requirements for blood donation, as well as post donation general recommendations.
Activities were also carried out in the provinces of Quevedo and Santo Domingo of the Tsachilas, along with the Ecuadorian Red Cross. This year Ecuador was named the headquarters of the Americas by PAHO due to the increasing number of donors that the country has accomplished during the last four years.
Guatemala celebrates the will of the heroes
On June 14, in Guatemala, the GEAP carried out marathons of blood donation, sporting activities, campaigns of awareness in educational institutions, malls, and private companies, to motivate the population to get involved in this act of love, and in addition to recognize and celebrate the will of donors that altruistically save lives.
Activists in Honduras promote the voluntary donation as an act of love
The GEAP, Government entities, the Secretary of Health, and the Honduran Red Cross gathered in the central plaza of the city of Tegucigalpa to pay tribute to voluntary donors during their day, highlighting that blood donation is more than a social compromise, it is an act of love. Dr. Elvia Ardon, representing the Ministry of Health, Yolani Vatres, and Ana Trecho, PAHO attorney, were present during the event.
Celebration in Panama promotes blood donation in the university field
The GEAP in Panama, in unity with the Metropolitan University of Education, Science, and Technology (MUEST) proclaimed the motto “Blood connects us all,” among the implementation of an awareness workshop on voluntary, altruistic, and habitual safe blood donation, with the participation of students in different careers.
Dr. Carlos Montero, medical coordinator of the Bancos de Sangre de la Caja del Seguro Social, was present, as well as the Istmo University, which participated by giving its testimony as promoters of voluntary donation with the program “Life is in the Blood,” and the Blood Bank of the San Fernando Hospital; all of them, along with the GEAP, received recognition for their altruistic work.
Puerto Ricans celebrate the Donor Day by donating the sap of life
The celebration in Puerto Rico was held in the installations of the Columbia Central University, in the city of Caguas, an event organized by the GEAP in coordination with the Mutual Services Blood Bank in which a marathon of blood donation was carried out with the recollection of 40 effective units.
Awareness in Uruguay to save lives
With the purpose forming of a culture of voluntary and habitual blood donation in Uruguay, the GEAP moved a campaign of awareness in the city of Artigas. From the Blood Bank of the Medical Gremial of Artigas (Gremeda) and from the District Hospital Luis Eduardo Juan, the Activists of Peace made a call unto citizens to carry out this altruistic act to save lives.
The campaign was promoted through the media, among these, local television channels that opened a space to transmit this message during the annual blood donor celebration.