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An Antiguan charity worker will be making history today when she represents the Caribbean at the first virtual worldwide celebration of the founding of the Red Cross. 

Nikisha Smith, board secretary of the local arm of the international body, has played a pivotal role in the society’s Covid-19 response by writing and creating content for online graphics and video media to share with the community.

She is one of just seven volunteers from around the world selected to share their defining moments of the movement. The others hail from Ecuador, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Palestine and the Marshall Islands.

Since 1995, thousands of volunteers have gathered each year in Solferino, Italy, where the idea of the Red Cross was born during the battle of Solferino in 1859 to commemorate the date. For the first time in 25 years, the celebration will be done virtually to ensure participants’ health and safety.

Red Cross spokeswoman Angela Hill said, “Nikisha is passionate and embodies what it means to be Red Cross. She gives her energy and time to support her community. She was a natural choice to be part of the Solferino event.”

President of the local Red Cross, Elvis Murray-Watkins, said the group was proud of Smith being the only Caribbean invitee to participate, describing her as an “outstanding humanitarian”.

The hour-long event will consist of storytelling from volunteers around the world and a virtual lighting of the candle, live from Solferino square. The concept for Solferino 2020 is #PassTheTorch, which symbolises efforts to carry on humanitarian work in spite of calamity.

It will be broadcast on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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