Volunteers for Humanitarian Crises

The officer from the fire force department poured petrol over the wooden sticks and dried leaves collected on the campus of Karlad Lake Resort in Wayanad, Kerala before igniting it. As the flames went up, he took the fire extinguisher and doused the fire with elan. The officer repeated the action. But this time he called upon the youth to extinguish the fire. The action got repeated again but the hands which doused the fire changed each time.

Finding a group of brave youths from various parts of Wayanad and readying them for dealing with a humanitarian crisis was the core idea behind the training programme organised by IGSSS. The five days residential training was facilitated by Ms Annie George, Development and DRR professional. Through the programme, quality training was provided to 27 youngsters in the age group of 18 and 32.

“During the floods of 2018, I had tried to give my best while involving in evacuation operations. Still, I was just obeying what some seniors in the group had advised me to do. Unless and until there was somebody to guide, I didn’t know what to do. The most important thing I acquired from this training is the ability to face a disaster situation without much external guidance. Now I am confident enough even to orient inexperienced volunteers to handle similar situations,” said Sarang, a volunteer.

Games, role-plays and interactive sessions provided scope for fun and frolic during the programme. In addition to the classes, the insightful experiences shared by experts from various fields made the evenings meaningful and enriching for the participants. The members also conducted transect walks in flood-prone areas in two panchayats and interacted with the community leaders and local representatives to know their experiences during the flood of 2018 and understand their idea of mitigation.