Thursday, 30 December 2010
Let's continue to save lives in the New Year.
Chandana Priyantha (l) receiving an award for saving 15 lives in 2010.
With the year coming to an end I felt I should write something reflective about volunteers as I spend a lot of my time working with Red Cross volunteers. I stumbled across this quote the other day which inspired me
"Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another,"
Today, 30 December, I was invited as guest of honour to present Awards of Appreciation to 50 plus Red Cross volunteer life savers, who have saved over 250 lives this year in Gampaha district in Sri Lanka..
Gampaha, the second most populated district in the country with a population of just over 2 million in a land area of 1,387 sq km., has water hazards everywhere.
The district adjoins Colombo and due to its canal systems and sluice gates in disrepair is prone to heavy flooding, so the trained life savers are used often for for flood rescue. In addition they go into fishing communities and teach water safety to the fishermen and their families. Thousands of people have received this community-based training. Also, part of the water safety programme is educating and training school children to be water proof.
Left, presenting an award to Sudesh Perera who saved 8 lives in 2010
Due to the high incidence of drowniings noted in 2004, the Japanese Red Cross sponsored this programme from 2005 for 3 years bringing in expert instructors from Japan to train local instructors. Recently the German Red Cross took over funding the programme which will continue until the end of 2011.
I was very impressed by these young and higfhly motivated life savers, so my New Year's resolution is to improve my skills in being able to save lives, initially in doing a refresher first aid course, and improving my water safety skills. I hope you will consider the same. Any why not join your local Red Cross or Red Crescent branch ?
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.