Volunteering in Emergencies

02/08/2012 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: From providing first aid to delivering relief to most vulnerable, Red Cross volunteers plays a key role during disasters.

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) definition, a volunteer is someone who works for a more humane and peaceful world by delivering services directly to vulnerable people and seeking to prevent and reduce vulnerability and exclusion. Volunteering is carried out by people acting of their own free will – not through any external social, economic or political pressure – with no desire for material or financial gain.

Until recently, there was no systematic way of measuring the value of volunteers. As a result, economists tended to ignore their contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). If governments collect credible data, it will lead to the development of policies that recognise the significant contribution made by volunteers, often at great personal sacrifice

This programme is aiming to support volunteerism and volunteering in emergencies enabling the society to do more, do better and reach further.  The programme will not only deal with volunteer but also with the organisational capacities as well.

The programme started with a workshop on volunteering in emergencies recently in Colombo, with carefully selected 25 participants who will become champions of volunteer development and volunteering in emergencies.

Red Cross Volunteers from Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Maldives were participated in the workshop.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society initiated the programme with the support of the IFRC South Asia Regional and the Zone office in Kuala Lumpur.

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