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Care for volunteers - International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contributions that volunteers have made to the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. Without its volunteers, the Movement would not be able to carry out its work to local communities throughout the world. It is therefore equally important for National Societies to establish a robust volunteer care system. This includes episodes from the Heartbeat of Humanity podcast, publications about MHPSS for volunteers and a short grounding exercise for volunteers to use when they are on-call with people in distress.

The PS Centre’s podcast, called “Heartbeat for Humanity,” has published two episodes which explore how to achieve and maintain staff and volunteer well-being. All components within the Red Cross Red Crescent have a duty of care to its staff and volunteers. This includes ensuring their physical safety, health and well-being. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has an obligation to provide volunteers with supportive supervision as well as necessary skills and competencies to effectively carry out their work.

Podcast Episodes on Caring for Volunteers

The first episode is about caring for staff and volunteers in relation to international humanitarian law. It also emphasizes the importance in providing healthy work environments and establishing staff health policies to ensure a system that supports volunteers before, during and after deployment.

The second episode explores the buddy system and peer groups that have been implemented at the Ethiopian Red Cross to give staff and volunteers an open space in which they can share their experiences and connect with others. This episode also discusses the need to develop a comprehensive dynamic initiative that captures the complexities of working within humanitarian contexts. MHPSS interventions are a critical part of this development and they ensure a happy and healthy environment that supports staff and volunteers to continue their work.

Subscribe to the Heartbeat of Humanity podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast or wherever you find your podcasts.

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