Timing is Everything
Three months ago, as I was working on this very World First Aid Day campaign for IFRC in Geneva, I left the office to grab lunch. Moments later, I saw a motorcyclist lying flat in the middle of the street near an intersection. I had to look twice to make sure I was seeing correctly, and as I did, a gentleman pulled over in his car and ran to meet him, as did I. He had taken the curve too fast and plunged. I asked if he was ok, to which he winced and said, “My shoulder hurts.” By then, another office mate had come on scene and called an ambulance as we walked the cyclist to the side of the road and gently sat him down. Knowing what to do, I positioned his arm close to his chest, careful not to move it more than needed as we waited for the ambulance. Ironically, I encountered a real need when I least expected it - from writing about lifesaving skills one minute, to using them another. You truly never know when you will be that person someone relies on. First aid saves lives. Get trained, be prepared. You may be that someone’s hero.
"I cannot forget the first time I gave first aid"
My name is Cristian Cura and I am a volunteer of the Albanian Red Cross. I am trained in First Aid program 4 years ago, where I got the title “First aid provider”. In the beginning I thought this training was merely an additional qualification in my CV.
But over time I realized that being a first aid provider it is a lifestyle. Humanism is a Red Cross volunteer combined with first aid go perfectly together. At any moment I see someone injured, or in danger, or seeking help, now I run towards to help him, secure because I’m well trained for this. I cannot forget the first time I gave first aid.
When a young girl fainted in front of me, in the middle of the road. I saw everything. For a moment I was shocked, but immediately told myself: ‘Focus on, you know what to do.” And I did. I cannot describe the moment when I felt her breathing. I felt relieved but also safe at the same time that I was doing the right thing.
After this episode every other case was easier for me. Even today I continue to work with dedication and passion for First Aid program at the Albanian Red Cross. I think this may have been the reason why I chose to become a doctor in my future. Continue to encourage new volunteers who are in doubt about taking this responsibility.
Certainly it isn’t an easy task, but gives indescribable sensation. You can help someone only once at very difficult moment for him. But at least that day, you will be a HERO.
Through Red Cross to Marriage and Presidency of an Aid Organisation
My Story startet in the year 2003 in an international training camp. Before I was interested in politics, but I was discouraged by the slow procedurs. At Red Cross I experienced catching enthusiasm whitin the volunteers and many shared how they were engaged to help in their countries!
After learning about the Red Cross, my first function was to be a workshop leader, sensitizing swiss pupils about the situation of children in war. When Swiss Red Cross founded youth groups, I was involved in the group of Zürich. I learnt how such a group was organised and how decision making and the financial process were handled in the Swiss Red Cross. Even more about the „behind the scenes“ procedurs I learnt as I became a youth representative of Swiss Red Cross. I learnt how the Red Cross are structured internationally, how it plans and decides prospectively. Suddenly I saw the 7 principles in a global setting and understood why they are of such an importance to the success of the Red Cross. An other advantage to different NGO’s surely is how at Red Cross each national society decides themselves which issues of the common strategy are most necessary to their own country and how they should be implemented best.
During an other Red Cross training camp I first met my husband! Job Zilaba was a social worker in Uganda and he had founded a small aid organisation there. After I stayed in Uganda myself for a couple of month I was convinced about Obulungi Bwo’Mwana association. The same as I experienced it at the Red Cross, also here people gathered together and worked to improve the lives of their fellow men in need. For example by donating school books to needy children and connecting orphans to foster families. But the situation worsened when 2011’s famine approached. We decided to found Together for Better association in Switzerland because the means of the Ugandan volunteers weren’t enough anymore. All the knowledge and some good friends I met through the Red Cross were of help to us. Today the Ugandan and Swiss associations work together well and are still growing.
Up to today I follow the activities of Red Cross worldwide, and I was proud as one day I read about the Ugandan Red Cross that they now give out scholastic materials too and have also seen the problem of girl pregnancies. We have already been active about both!