Bam, Iran 2003  

The Finnish Red Cross worked with the Norwegian Red Cross to send a field hospital to Bam. I worked in the field hospital’s laboratory as a laboratory assistant. The field hospital had the same capacity as a Finnish district hospital. Childbirth and deliveries are always a major part of field hospital operations. Because one baby decided to enter the world a little early, we had to build an incubator, as they are not included in our standard equipment. Our technician fashioned an incubator out of a cardboard box, bubble wrap and tape. The makeshift incubator was kept warm with hot-water bottles. The incubator worked well and the baby survived.   

-Seija, relief worker 

Fist of Hope

Mexico City, Mexico, 2017  

Two days after an earthquake, I heard that a home of a friend had collapsed. I went to see it, and found many young people helping with the search for trapped survivors. It was truly moving to see a large number of people working together. Suddenly, someone raised their fist to signal a silence so that we could hear calls for help and other sounds. Those seconds and minutes left a deep impression. Not a single sound was heard. It was like we all shared that moment with them, in silence.   

Sadly, we never found my friend. The moment was beautiful regardless, and I still remember it. To me, the signal for silence, the raised fist, symbolises the history of earthquakes in Mexico. Everyone knows what it means. It is also a sign of hope for those who survived.  

-Oscar, inhabitant of Mexico City