Turning tools of war into tools of assistance
Everything started as some of our volunteers turned their childhood dream of becoming firefighters into reality. They collected their first experiences through local voluntary firefighter brigades, later integrating their passion for special vehicles to develop a fleet of special vehicles able to transport rescue units and equipment into difficult to access disaster zones. We started turning military tanks into rescue vehicles, using them to extinguish forest fires, break ice on frozen rivers to save villages from flooding, evacuate people from flooded communities and much more.. These unique vehicles are adapted to use in rescue operations and are able to master muddy or flooded terrain, as well as sand. New ideas for their tunning and upgrades pop up constantly as we gather more experience in missions. The scale of our activities thus encompasses renovation and refurbishment of old military vehicles, trucks and tanks into modern rescue tools, but also supporting surrounding communities in becoming more resilient to disasters and teaching children how to protect themselves and their loved ones in emergencies. We train our units and exercise our modules alongside other professional and voluntary rescue services in order to be able to effectively support intervention in emergencies with unique and unmatched resources, enhancing the mobility of rescue units, the accessiblity of their services and the effectiveness of their intervention. The core mission of our voluntary association is to protect lives, health and property in emergencies. More info about us at www.dhztt.sk :)
I have been involved in humanitarian activities science 2005 , when a devastation earth quake hit Pakistan. During this earth quake i was involved in volunteer activities to work for a social cause , after that i was working in Disaster preparedness and emergency response unit of an organization which has run its relief and rehabilitation project which was executed by me . I was also involved in implementation and monitoring of all relief and rehabilitation projects .
Now I want to open up horizon for me to learn more in this field and to interact with other actors to refine my knowledge and skills for better action and planning for the future . Therefore i am applying here to get a chance to work in a multi cultural society to have a fair idea to deal with different culture and environments .
I want to help the people who suffer from these disaster now and then .
My name is Nkiruka Nnaemego. I run an NGO - Fresh & Young Brains Development Initiative, based in Nigeria. We focus mainly on Volunteerism and mentoring for children and youth. On December 5, 2010, our Book 'A Tookit for Volunteerism' produced with support from UNV, NNVS was launched by the Nigerian Government and is currently on UNV/UNDP site. In commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10), our Volunteer For Life (VFL) Project was launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers, UNDP, UNMC, ECOWAS Commission at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Abuja. March 29, 2011. This project has been shared in Sweden and Germany and has reached over 10,000 people globally. This has led to awards and international recognition. Through the project, we are on the Resource Team of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corp and recently participated in the UNV Youth Volunteer Strategy Workshop in Bonn.
Our project which cuts across all borders aims to build and promote a culture of volunteerism regardless of age, gender, class, religion, ability, etc. Through the project, our volunteers have initiated projects on Green Economy & Sustainable Development, Agriculture and Livelihoods, Climate Change Adaptation, Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction for children and youth, leadership and character development, mentoring, among others. The project has been adopted as a best practice within and outside Nigeria.
As a result of the impact of the VFL Project, the Nigerian Government decided to re-launch the project in celebration of this year's IVD.
The best and cheapest to achieve the MDGs and SDGs is VOLUNTEERISM. So, join us in the Volunteer For Life (VFL) Project
For us, we believe that 'As children, the Society invested in us through her agents of socialization. therefore, as young adults, we are to give back to society the returns of her investment in us'. Volunteerism is to the Secular World what Charity is to the Religious'.
Visit www.freshbrainsinitiativeng.org or call 234(0)7066817374
I WORK AT A RADIO STATION BASED IN north WEST KENYA AND I TRAVEL A LOT TO REMOTE VILLAGES AND WHEN DISASTER COME THESE PEOPLE SUFFER A LOT. I HAVE DECIDED TO TRAIN THEM ON HOW TO PREDICT A DISASTER AND PREVENT WHERE POSSIBLE.
There was a devastating and deadliest cyclone of Bhola in 1970 on 12 November which is the largest island of Bangladesh, also a coastal and tropical area, where I was born. Up to 500000 people lost their lives. After this, A huge humanitarian crisis created from lack of food, shelter, proper treatment. Dead bodies were not disposed of properly and making it water unfit for drinking. In the storm, I lost all of my family members except my father and grandfather. I heard from my father that if there was warning and help was offered for the victims at the right time such a humanitarian crisis could have been avoided. So that many people could have been able to save their lives. West Pakistani government did not help to the victims even after 10 days. I think that if there were some people who could be able to provide timely necessary help as affected people first res-ponder. That is why we need many trained first res-ponder within our communities in any natural disaster in any corner of the world.
Spend more time doing the things that interest you and make a difference at the same time. From sports & coaching to music and media, volunteer work offers the chance to do more of the things you love
In May 2009, Cyclone Aila released its fury in the state of West Bengal and in its trail left behind untold misery. Thousands lost their dear ones, homes and means of livelihood in a matter of days. A health calamity was waiting to happen as dead cattle and stagnant water threatened to become the nesting house of epidemics. This situation needed immediate action.
Hundreds from all over the world answered the call of His Holiness 1008 Sri Soham Baba and under His inspiring guidance, helped to avert a major humanitarian disaster.
Relief teams set up medical camps and temporary shelters. His Holiness guided the setting up of teams that would sanitize large areas of land (with bleaching powder) so as to prevent epidemics. As we arrived we found desperate people waiting in the rivers waving, hoping that we would come in their direction.
The volunteers - 285 over a period of one month - were assigned to several teams. One team stayed at the base camp where the mobile hospital tents were situated. Doctors from de West worked side by side with a medical team from India. Hundreds of men, women and children suffering from choleric diarrhea and fever were brought in by their families.
Most of them had travelled for days, because the The Soham Baba Mission camp was the only medical camp in that area. We had a supply of first class medication that made sure that all of our patients fully recovered from cholera.
Another team worked very hard to distribute all the goods. We donated tons of rice, thousands of liters of healthy fresh water and food like pumpkins and potatoes. The team travelled for days to reach remote areas where people were desperately waiting for help. Most people had not had clean drinking water for days. We felt that it was important to distribute food and water in a personal way.
Handing over the bottles of water in person and looking people in the eye made us aware of the importance of living for others. Other teams helped to sanitize large areas of land with bleaching powder to prevent epidemics. They also joined the villagers in rebuilding the dams and roads.
The Soham Baba Mission invites people from all over the world to join in these kinds of rescue missions and medical aid projects. This volunteer work is very rewarding. Our organization fully depends on volunteers who are willing to invest some time for the greater good.
Preparation to respond to emergencies and disasters in Bolivia
Risk profile in Bolivia
Due to its unique geographical location, variety of climates and multiple ecosystems, Bolivia is regularly exposed to a wide array of natural weather- related and geological hazards, such as floods, droughts, landslides, hail and frost. Like other Andean countries, Bolivia is prone to the El Niño and La Niña (ENSO) effects, which often result in damages and losses in a portion of the country. Climate change effects may need to be added to the current risk profile, as it can result in an increased frequency and magnitude of natural disasters.
Consequently, the territory, its people and productive activities are regularly affected by emergencies and natural disasters, leading to greater economic losses and human suffering among most vulnerable populations.
Our project "Strengthening the Risk Reduction and Emergency/Disaster National System (SISRADE) in preparedness and response", co- executed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is aimed at strengthening national capacities regarding decision- making and action-taking processes for humanitarian preparation and response.
The project’s strategy is translated into two fields of action: a) The establishment and strengthening of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and b) Strengthening the national institutional capacities of the Civil Defense, Departmental Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) as well as some sectoral working tables.
Besides the coordinator and two technical consultants, the project team is mainly comprised of UNV’s – 5 in total- who offer support in different areas of expertise and regions, working also as liaisons with State authorities and the wider humanitarian community.
One of the volunteers is responsible for supporting the creation, promotion and strengthening of the HCT by connecting UN and non- UN humanitarian actors (humanitarian NGO’s and the Red Cross Movement) and by supporting the subscription of basic working and coordination agreements and standard operating procedures.
Other four volunteers are in charge of assisting capacity-building processes among four EOC’s as well as among the health, education, food security and nutrition and WASH sectoral working tables.
Effective emergency preparation and response strengthening processes require a time and determination in order to be sustainable. In that context our aim is to generate participatory, solid scenarios which would allow for constant improvement of national capacities. We firmly believe that volunteerism does not only inspire international community actors but, mainly because of its intrinsic principles of solidarity, trust and support is being increasingly assimilated and esteemed at national and local State levels.
In sum, the UNV team supports:
• The generation of preparedness and response local capacities
• The strengthening of risk management and disaster emergency response.
My name is Shahida Akhter. I am a UNV from Bangladesh since 1991, worked with UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cambodia during 1992-93. Being a UNV, I have been working both individually and with the groups to help the people in natural disasters, in health sector, environment and promoting basic education to the under-privileged children, adolescent and adults associated with UNICEF, Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity International and other NGOs in Bangladesh. I was the Chairperson of UNV Advocacy Committee in 2009, our partners are UNMC, UNIC, UNAID, Habitat for Humanity International, VSO, JICA, KOICA and other voluntary organizations, who are closely working with the policy makers, NGOs, development agencies, civil society members and media personnel with the objectives of promoting voluntary activities to achieve MDGs and ensure recognition of the volunteers at national and social level. We have prepared a Draft of “National Volunteer Policy” and delivered it to the government.
Bangladesh is a country of natural disaster. Every year people have to face devastated cyclone and storms. As an individual volunteer, I helped many cyclone-affected people in the costal areas of Bangladesh. I raised fund to help cyclone Sidr-victims in 2007 and distributed relief personally to many people. Since then I took the responsibility of an injured boy of 14 years, who was about to die. I helped him getting treatment in the hospital, who had gone through surgery three times. He was from completely bed-ridden. He hailed from a very poor family. I supported him financially, and collected fund for his treatment. After three months physiotherapy in CRP Dhaka and Savar, he was able to seat on a wheel chair. Still I am trying to get him improved treatment so that he can walk and continue his study.
Moreover, I write education materials for disadvantaged children and mass people, these are being distributed by the UNICEF and the NGOs to the learners.
We have arranged a number of workshops on National Volunteer Policy involving the Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Natural disaster and the voluntary organizations. We celebrated IVD with the voluntary organizations through various activities, involving the youth groups, students and the volunteers of different sectors. The program includes: Cleaning campaign in the educational institutions, rally and campaign for better health and environment, Blood donation camp, Art competition for children, Tree plantation, Building Homes for Homeless and award giving to the best volunteers. At present, I am working on arsenic pollution and its harmfull affect on children and other people.
Shahida Akhter, UNV, Bangladesh