The International Blue Cross is a worldwide health development organisation dedicated to caring for people harmed by alcohol and/or illicit drugs. It was established in 1886 in Geneva, Switzerland, and is presently made up of more than a thousand health professionals around the world.
Who we are
The International Blue Cross wears two hats – the Federation and that of an international actor.
At the Federation’s level
We are a non-governmental umbrella organisation that brings together 41 national Blue Cross societies – called member organisations. These organisations are independent, non-denominational Christian organisations.
We are a networking hub and coordinator between organisations inside and outside the Blue Cross..
At the level of the international actor
We are a project funding and implementation organisation.
We are representatives of the national Blue Cross organisations in international networks.
We are the fundraising body of the Federation to ensure sustainability of core activities.
According to the Brazilian National Drug Report 2009 an estimated 12.3% of the adult urban population in Brazil suffers from dependence on alcohol, making alcohol misuse a significant public health issue. Blue Cross Brazil is providing treatment and aftercare services mainly in the three Southern states of Santa Catarina, Paranà and Rio Grande do Sul, where alcohol and drug use is most prevalent. The organization collaborates with 12 affiliated treatment centers that employ the therapeutic community approach and provide stationary treatment to more than 1500 clients per year.
Through research and experience with its clients in the Self Help Groups, the Blue Cross Brazil identified the need to create support groups for children of alcohol/drug dependent parents. These children often face exclusion, abuse and neglect and the groups give them a place to find help and ongoing support. The Blue Cross treatment center “Cerene” pioneered a project with KIDS Support Groups at the request of clients supported by the Blue Cross network in Southern Brazil. Further support groups for kids were created in the cities of São Bento do Sul and Rio Negrinho (State of Santa Catarina) in 2012. Due to their success, the Blue Cross Brazil has developed a set of guidelines for the formation of KIDS Support Groups, including weekly activities for use in the sessions, and began training group leaders in order to expand the program.
The objective of the KIDS Support Groups is to promote a place for welcoming and orientation for children affected by their parents’ substance use/abuse as strategy of prevention and assistance to people in circumstances of social vulnerability and of hazard. Through targeted training of KIDS Group leaders/facilitators, the Blue Cross Brazil will expand its successful program of Self Help to reach beyond the substance abusers and provide much needed care for family members.