Blue Cross News

Updates from Tanzania


Blue Cross Tanzania cooperated with the City Council in Arusha and conducted a two-day training for gender focal points from four different wards. In total 69 participants took part in the training to learn more about the following points:

1. Promote positive parenting skills among parents, caregivers and community members.
2. Promote norms and values that empower women and support non-violent, respectful, positive, nurturing and gender-equitable relationships
3. Enforce laws relating to rights of women and children.
4. Train ward VAWC protection committees on their roles and responsibilities

Even with the travel restrictions due to covid the IBC secretariat team collaborates closely with its members on line.

Merry Christmas!


IBC wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We are really thankful for this last year. Thank you so much to all our donors, members and volunteers. We look back on a year full of break throughs, healings, learning a lot of new things, conduct new projects, growth from our Self Help groups and working with new volunteers. Thank you all for being part of IBC and changing the lives of many!

We wish you a time of rest and peace during this Christmas season. Enjoy this time with your families and friends. May you experience healing and renewed strength as we look into the future and start 2022.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Reinhard Jahn is the new President of IBC!


October 7, 2021– International Blue Cross (IBC) is happy to announce that Reinhard Jahn has been elected president at its General Assembly on 07 October, which -due to the pandemic- took place in an online format.
Reinhard Jahn, CEO of the Blue Cross Germany, has extensive professional experience in the field of addiction and due to his position in the Blue Cross Germany possesses vast leadership- and management skills. He has been an active member in the IBC Network Committee since 2008. His involvement in Blue Cross´ international work has allowed him to become familiar with structures and processes within the federation- and development work of International Blue Cross.

Ever since committed to the cause of Blue Cross, Reinhard Jahn wishes to further enhance the cooperation between the German Blue Cross and promote networking and mutual learning between all Blue Cross member organisations and the international Secretariat of IBC. In his inaugural speech the newly appointed president affirms: “IBC is an invitation for all of us to stay connected and share experiences, doubts and ask and answer questions together. It is also an invitation to addicts and families in the Blue Cross countries to seek help and realize that they are not alone in their battle against alcohol harm and addiction. I would like to serve IBC in a faith-based and holistic way and continue and even enhance the engagement of Blue Cross Germany with IBC. I am motivated to bring the international work of IBC forward, help finding and knitting relations and partnerships worldwide and enhance the profile of Blue Cross as a global movement with one voice.”

In addition to its new president, IBC is pleased to announce the election of Hans Eglin, Managing Director of regional Blue Cross Youth organisation from Switzerland as vice president of the Network Committee (board).

Other newly elected Network Committee members are: Ewa Duda, addiction therapist and promotion coordinator at Blue Cross Poland and Lars Thidemann Jensen, Vice Secretary-General in Blue Cross Denmark.

Other Network Committee members continuing their terms are Rolf Hartmann, President of Blue Cross Brazil; Ingalill Söderberg, journalist and board member at local and regional Swedish Blue Ribbon; Holger Lux, MD, Director Blue Cross Rehabilitation-Centres in Romania. Substitute members are Patrick Acheampong, General Secretary Blue Cross Ghana, Revocatus Nginila, Project Coordinator, Blue Cross Society of Tanzania.

KIDS Support Groups Brazil


We all know that the children of today are the future of tomorrow. How we educate them, how we see and treat them and how we act around them, is going to shape the world of tomorrow. But not every child has the privilege to grow up in a healthy environment. In Southern Brazil alcohol abuse is a significant issue for a lot of parents. Children of alcoholics suffer from the consequences of being brought up upon alcohol. Facing social exclusion, developing mental illness or even becoming alcoholics themselves is a real threat to their future. The KIDS Support Groups in Brazil committed themselves to tackle this problem. KIDS Support Groups are a place where children, affected by their parents' substance abuse are welcomed and get orientation as a strategy of prevention and assistance to people in circumstances of social vulnerability and hazard.

The pandemic has challenged the work of the KIDS Support Groups a lot, since it wasn't possible anymore to regularly meet each other and organise events. Nevertheless the facilitators of the KIDS Support Groups came up with new and creative ways to still support the kids in the communities of Brazil. All 36 KIDS Support Groups found different ways to individually support children during this difficult time. Some groups managed to organise online meetings, others even had some face-to-face activities.

Besides connecting with the kids, it is really important to educate new facilitators and build new partnerships in order to start more KIDS Support Groups all over Brazil. We are really excited to announce new partnerships in the north east of Brazil, where now a new group has been started!

Another achievement of the last couple of months was the finalization of the first story of the comic, "the Azulinho series". In 2020 they started the elaboration of comics for prevention. These comics are used during activities and get distributed to kids. Working with comics is a way to prevent kids from drug and alcohol use in a child-friendly way.

If you want to know more about the KIDS Support Groups, you can read our reports on GlobalGiving:

IBC External Evaluation


International Blue Cross (IBC) has mandated the Swiss company RANAS to evaluate its projects in Chad and Congo as an expert advisor on human behavior change. This external evaluation assessed the life skills and peer education projects in Chad and Congo between 2017 and 2020 and reviewed the projects’ relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. By conducting desk review, key informant interviews, focus group discussions andinterviews with beneficiaries, evaluators were able to clearly determine that IBC’s work in Chad and Congo has a strong impact on substance abuse and related behaviours (sexual risk behaviours and GBV), the related knowledge and attitudes.The impact of IBC’s local work goes beyond the effect on beneficiaries, influencing communal, structural, and governmental levels by changing people’s perception about substance abuse and even encouraging legal changes.The evaluation underlined that the projects are highly relevant in both countriesand positively impacted the targeted groups. It also recommended that IBC’s work should be extended to more areas worldwide where populations are sufferingfrom substance abuse and related negative behaviours. Furthermore, the implemented projects were deemed sustainable and likely to maintain effects for a reasonable amount of time, as the behaviours are changed, leading to life-long improvements in the lives of beneficiaries, their familiesand communities. IBC is honored to have a positive impact which actively contributes to theachievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, in addition tocontribution to a more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies.

Youth for protection against COVID-19


In the Republic of Congo, where we run our Life Skills programme, a peer-to-peer prevention programme has proven successful in sensitizing youth for appropriate behaviour to limit the spread of the virus. Youth participants of the “Generation 5S” (5S: sans drogue, sans alcohol, sans violence, sans VIH/SIDA, sans discrimination) use leaflets to sensitize their peers for correct behaviour. In a second step they encourage them to pass on the information to others, distributing leaflets to them and triggering a snowball-system.

Coping with the challenges of COVID-19


A lot has happened in the past days. In most places around the world governments and local authorities are implementing policies of social isolation to protect people from the fast spread of the Coronavirus. All of us need to adapt now to the new circumstances and confront the challenges of the pandemic COVID-19.

The most important to us is to protecting the vulnerable from disease – and this more so now! In all IBC programmes the local safety measures are being implemented. Activities within our Life Skills programmes in Togo, Chad and the Republic of Congo are continuing to being implemented according to the respective country´s situation and strictly in accordance with the advises of the World Health Organisation on Covid19. Blue Cross organisations around the world are rolling up their sleeves to be creative and to find the best way to be at the service of their clients and partners.
The International Blue Cross team- and board members currently work flexibly from home, the office of the IBC Secretariat in Bern is only sporadically occupied. Hence you might not reach us via our office phone number. So, please write us an e-mail indicating how we can reach you and we are happy to get back to you.
A further consequence we drew from the actual situation is the postponement of the IBC General Assembly. Instead of October 2020, it will take place one year later, from 4 to 8 October in South Africa. We are hopeful that by then this global health emergency had been solved without causing too high numbers of casualties.

And let us all dare to think that this pandemic not only means isolation, disruption and suffering – it also is a chance to reflect on ourselves, our role in this world and lead us to new shores discovering how we can best learn, work and live together in the future.
We wish you and your loved ones that you safely go through these hard times.

In solidarity,

Your Team of International Blue Cross

Self-help training in Botswana


Project preparation visit at Blue Cross Society Tanzania


International Blue Cross works within good governance structures whilst implementing projects and programmes with its partners. This requires good project cycle management, throughout preparation and implementation of operational handbook that covers internal regulations, policies that steer professional code of conduct, administrative, human resources and finance management.

Between 27.11-4.12.2019 Anne Babb and Sonja Pönisch run this intensive workshop for Blue Cross Society Tanzania’s secretariat, board and volunteers. In addition we had meetings with key stakeholders. We visited the City Council department for NGO work and discussed the next steps of collaboration with developing life skills, community action and policy advocacy work. At Arusha Sober Houses we discussed collaboration for community action with leaders of NA based therapeutic community treatment model and we facilitated a discussion with two churches in order to find ways to reach vulnerable communities.

Blue Cross Tanzania enjoyed also learning basics of project cycle management and latest information about alcohol and drug harm, self-help and skills on creating change through behavioral prevention. Thank you for all at BC Tanzania for your warm hospitality and we wish you much strength and blessings for implementing all new things on your daily work!

Job advert: Alcohol and Drug Policy Adovacy Officer based in Africa, 8 hrs/week


IBC looks for a committed and innovative drug and alcohol field professional living in Africa and willing to work within a Christian value-based organisation

Alcohol and Drug Policy Advocacy Officer:
Part Time 8hrs/week (20%) from March 2020 or as mutually agreed.

As Advocacy Officer you are based in your home office working closely on-line with the IBC secretariat and you will:

Job Description & Requirements

  • Develop the IBC advocacy programme and key messages in French and English based on evidence based research that is based on independent data without vested interests of drug and alcohol industry;
  • Establish and maintain structures and instruments for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of progress against IBC advocacy plans within PCM framework;
  • Develop and submit timely and high-quality advocacy messages to support IBC’s global advocacy work together with IBC board and leadership;
  • Coach local programme coordinators and teams (mainly online coaching) on the topics of alcohol and drugs and policy advocacy. Organise substance abuse policy advocacy trainings to develop capacities of implementing partners;
  • Develop and foster collaboration and policy work with responsible authorities, governments and NGOs at country level and in international forums;
  • Represent IBC and actively participate in inter-agency forums and thematic working groups with partner NGOs and institutional donors as agreed by General Secretary;
  • Support the Fundraising and Communication team by providing advocacy insights, prospect donor contacts and concepts for funding applications;
  • Carry out any other tasks as required for the smooth running of IBC.
  • University degree in public health or in a relevant field
  • High knowledge of drug and alcohol harm
  • Commitment to following evidence based alcohol and drug policy without industry interference
  • No vested interests or connections to alcohol and drug industry
  • Working experience in development and cooperation, preferably with field experience with grassroots organisations in Africa
  • Excellent skills in coaching project partners
  • Fluent in French and English
  • Possibility for an excellent internet connection
  • Outstanding communication, social and networking skills
  • Commitment to work within Christian value-based organisation
  • Driven to support capacity building of partners in order to assist vulnerable people and to work with the issue of alcohol and other drugs
  • Team spirit, commitment, and flexibility. Independent, proactive and solution-oriented
  • Capable of working in a multi-cultural environment. Honest and trustworthy
  • Must be located in Africa

What we offer:
• Interesting and varied activities in an international environment with many opportunities to be proactive
• A motivated and committed international team
• Flexibility in work arrangements
• Salary and home office allowance according to your national pay structures and within IBC policies
• Christian value based work environment

Recruitment process
If you are interested in raising the IBC advocacy work to a new level, we are looking forward to receiving your complete electronic application with CV and motivation letter in English and with academic & work certificates in English or French by 6th of January 2020 at, with subject “Advocacy Officer”.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take a written on-line assessment during the week 20-23.1.2020. From these finally shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview online on 5th February 2020.

For further information please contact General Secretary Anne Babb:

IBC Network Committee Meeting in Paris


Paris - The IBC Network Committee (board) meeting, together with IBC Secretariat staff, took place from 28.-30 October for the third time in the French capital. The agenda included strategy development, the planning for the General Assembly in 2020 in South Africa and updates from Lisbon Addicitions Conference etc. IBC wants to take a stronger presence on drug prevention and speak against drug legalisation movements. Especially cannabis is a concern as more availability is leading to higher per capita consumption and increase of consumers that creates more harm and addiction. We need strong civil society voice world wide to tackle against the commercial powers on legalisation of drugs.

Rolf Hartmann from Brazil presented a thank you for IBC President Albert Moukolo and GS Anne Babb for the support to BC Brazil. Thank you Rolf Hartmann also for representing IBC at Lisbon Addictions conference!

IBC Network Committee Meeting in Paris

Joining forces to direct Blue Cross Global Strategy


Again in Paris! The IBC Network Committee (board) and IBC Secretariat staff meeting took place from 8-10. May in the French capital. Main points of the agenda were the planning for the General Assembly in 2020 and the strategical outlook for the period 2020 - 2024. It continues to be important to involve all Blue Crosses around the world more closely in gloal steering processes. Participants brainstormed how to achieve this and -additionally to the actions of the IBC General Secretariat- the board members agreed to take this message to the Blue Crosses in their countries. In a world where the global alcohol consume rate is rising, global action and strategies are needed.

Life Skills for Youth in Chad

Project visit to our implementing partner in Africa - Blue Cross Chad


IBC General Secretary Anne and IBC Finance Officer Katrin are back from their visit to our member organisation and implementing partner in Chad. It was a week full of activities, revising and working to improve the Life Skills Programme for youth further.
The IBC alcohol and drug prevention programme has been successfully running in the Chadian capital of N´Djamena since 2013. Meanwhile 20 schools participate in protecting young people from alcohol harm and sensitizing them for gender equality. Find out more about the programme in our programmes section!

IBC alcohol and drug prevention in Congo-Brazzaville on TV

Snapshot of IBC´s prevention work with underprivileged communities in Congo-Brazzaville


Swiss Broadcaster SRF1 has accompanied the Blue Cross alcohol and drug prevention programme IBC implements with its local partner in Congo-Brazzaville. One of the participants is talking about his experiences in the video (German version)

Field visit in Congo-Brazzaville

In December, Flavia Ganarin, the new IBC programme officer, was ready for her first visit to the youth prevention project in Congo-Brazzaville.


In December, Flavia Ganarin, the new IBC programme officer, was ready for her first visit to the youth prevention project in Congo-Brazzaville.

The project “Generation 5S” stands for “sans alcool, sans drogue, sans VIH/SIDA, sans violence, sans discrimination” (without alcohol, drugs, VIH/SIDA, violence, discrimination). The participating youth of Brazzaville learn here to cope with difficulties in their life in a healthy way – without alcohol and drugs. The programme gives them a space to develop their talents and skills. Through regular Life Skills trainings at schools, the young participants are supported to grow into responsible adults with self-esteem and positive outlook.

For Flavia´s visit, the local team of IBC partner organisation CTPAD had prepared a diverse programme. After a warm welcome they accompanied her through a series of visits and meetings with local stakeholders such as the Evangelical Church of Congo, the Institute responsible for the elaboration of school curricula, the Institute of deaf children, several neighborhood committees and multiple schools where IBC programme activities are being implemented.

She conducted focus group discussions with participating youth to get first-hand feedback, attended life skills trainings and met with parent´s initiatives which support the programme.

Besides this, Flavia has organised a variety of capacity-building trainings on project cycle management, monitoring and evaluation and prevention of sexual abuse and harassment with the local project staff. “It was gratifying to see how the local people are eager to learn and develop the programme further. It has been running here since 2013 and thousands of students have so far benefitted from the programme. What is very important and makes me proud is that the local politicians and stakeholders are engaged and support the initiative unanimously”.

During her stay Flavia met many young people who, thanks to the programme, made a conscious decision to live without alcohol and drugs - that gives hope! Due to the success, IBC will expand its activities in Congo in 2019 and intensify cooperation with churches, police, associations and community leaders.