Erbol Karagulov, 17 years old, hometown — Bishkek, 1st-year student of Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University named after B. Yeltsin
I am studying to be an engineer with a degree in heat and gas supply and ventilation. I have been engaged in volunteer activities in the national Red Crescent Society of the Kyrgyz Republic for a year and a half.
I learned about the Red Crescent at school. I was in ninth grade when the representatives of the Red Crescent came to our school and talked about the organization and the international red cross and Red Crescent movement in general.
For the first time in the walls Of the national Red Crescent Society, I got a year later, as a member of the school first aid team, then I graduated from the tenth grade. My classmate, who was already a Red Crescent volunteer at that time, invited me to represent our school in first aid competitions. To be honest, it was difficult for me to agree to this proposal because before that I decided to take up the study of the language. As a result, I gave up the courses, and we began to prepare for these competitions. Almost every day after school, we gathered in the red Crescent office and practised first aid skills. We were trained by experienced trainers and instructors. Volunteers also came to our aid. In such a short time of preparation, I became close to volunteers, employees and even rivals in competitions. In the end, me and the guys from other teams joined the ranks of volunteers after the competition. And I don't regret staying here.
To join the ranks of the Red Crescent volunteers, you need to fill out a questionnaire. After its consideration, you are contacted by other volunteers. Then you need to go through introductory training. For example, the history of the international red cross and Red Crescent movement, first aid training. After that, an interview, where everyone chooses the direction in which he would like to work and concludes a contract on volunteering.
The mission of the organization is to prevent and alleviate human suffering, protect their dignity and provide assistance to vulnerable segments of the population. As well as to provide humanitarian assistance at the national and international level.
My main activity is information sessions. I'm a first aid instructor. I conduct training on our movement and master classes on first aid. But that doesn't mean I'm always in front of the audience. I am actively working and helping in other areas too. I go to actions, and I help at the office.
This activity gives me great advantages for self-development, a great experience that will be useful to me in the future. You become more liberated, sociable, and it is easier for you to find a common language with people. A sense of responsibility is developed, and you learn to do the job "one hundred per cent". I think these are important qualities for any person. And, of course, these are new acquaintances, people. I am glad that all volunteers are different, each with its own twist, but we have one thing in common — the desire to help. It's nice to work with people like that. From time to time, our coordinators encourage us. They organize team buildings, competitions and invited to various seminars and lectures. Volunteer's life is rich and interesting.
Zhanna Abraeva, hometown — Ekibastuz, nurse
I have been living in Stuttgart since 2013, and I came on the Au Pair program. When I had a place in a professional school, a nursing College, I could choose an employer myself: the Stuttgart Clinic or the Württemberg Group of red cross Sisters. I chose the latter because I knew the Sisterhood was helping people all over the world.
The idea of this organization seems close to me: to help people in trouble regardless of their social status, financial well-being, ethnicity, religious or political views. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Is a movement around the world that calls to be merciful and help each other. The idea of Henri Dunant, the founder of the red cross, is alive to this day: people in need of help — the main thing in professional nursing. The main principles, for us, are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntariness, unity and universality.
I am happy to be a part of this movement, to feel the shared responsibility and support of other members, sometimes without even knowing the names or persons. After all, we are many in the world. To become a member of this organization, you need to have a profession related to medicine: nurses, doctors, midwives or to study for it. Until recently, only women could be members of the Sisterhood, now everyone can join. Becoming a member of the Sisterhood was not a problem for me: they recruit everyone: the more, the better. To my regret, such people are few.
Studying in a professional school for a nurse, I was already a member of the Sisterhood. They were my employers. I was paid a scholarship during my studies, and now my salary. I didn't have to pay a membership fee during my studies, now I have to do it. After all, the Sisterhood is financed by voluntary donations and membership fees.
On a working day, I am no different from other nurses: I work in the city clinic, and I get an equal salary. On the legal side, all members of the Sisterhood have great advantages: for example, in the first six months of work, we have the right to resign even tomorrow, without observing the term of termination of the contract, which is three months. There are other advantages: the pension is a little more, there is financial support in education, individual insurance. But the main advantage, for me, is that I can change my job without changing my employer. I can go to another clinic that the Sisterhood has a contract with and start working there tomorrow. It's also comforting to think I will have enough experience to help people with disasters or during natural catastrophes.
Alexey Syromyatnikov, hometown — Samara, coordinator of the Youth Movement of the Russian Red Cross of the Samara region
I learned about the Red Cross from television, saw how volunteers helped to eliminate the consequences of the flood and distributed humanitarian aid to those in need. Even then I admired the courage and generosity of these people.
I am the coordinator of the Youth movement of the Russian Red Cross of the Samara region. The mission of our organization is to develop the volunteer movement, all kinds of assistance to the Red Cross, helping people in difficult situations, promoting a healthy lifestyle, campaigning to join the donor movement, helping refugees from other countries. That's what we're doing.
To become a member of the movement, you just need to contact any local branch of the red cross and offer their assistance to the organization.
I like helping people. I think it is important in life that people do not remain alone in trouble, that they feel support, the Red Cross is doing just that. Presidents and political systems are changing, but the ideas of the red cross about free aid to people live and should live forever.
Maxim Raincoat, 19 years old, hometown — Akhtyrka, instructor
I first learned about the Red Cross from the encyclopedia when I was a child. There were drawings and a detailed description of what the organization does. But I did not even think that we had the Red Cross in Ukraine.
At the end of 2013, I decided to go to medical College because I wanted to help people too.
Then representatives of the Red Cross came to our College to conduct a master class on first aid. After the master class, we were offered to become volunteers. When I came to the office, there was just a rehearsal for the St. Nicholas day event for the 55th boarding school. They lacked one presenter, and I was offered to become them.
After this event, I was invited to the school of social activism, where we were taught leadership and public speaking skills. I started working with orphanages, boarding schools, and six months later I was appointed a coordinator of the direction of orphanages and boarding schools. In this direction I worked a little more than a year, I was recognized as the best volunteer of Ukraine to work with orphanages and boarding schools, and in parallel, I began to train the population of first aid. In the future, he became an instructor in first aid and decided to go to the rapid response squad, where six months later I managed to become Deputy commander of the squad.
Our rapid response team has been actively working in Ukraine since the end of 2013. We provide assistance to people who have suffered at mass events, at rallies, rallies, city holidays. Also, assistance in emergency situations to government agencies such as the Ministry of emergency situations, police, ambulance. My first serious outing was when he started to blow up military depots in Balakleya, Kharkiv region. I was in command of the evacuation team. We evacuated disabled and elderly people to the area where they were distributed to the nearest villages. After Blakley, I was promoted to squad leader. In our group, there are a lot of children of different age, professions.
Gradually people began to recognize us, ceased to be confused with an ambulance, with firefighters. And they began to say we are a rapid response unit, paramedics, rescuers from the red cross.
To join the Red Cross, there are several options, or you fill out a questionnaire on the site, it is considered, call back and give contracts to the coordinators of the directions. You contact the coordinators and are invited to actions, events. Then you sign the volunteer code and become a red cross volunteer.
At first, the biggest goal for me was to help other people, but then another goal was added — to help the guys from the squadron, to make it more comfortable, for them, to perform their task.
Working in the Red Cross gives me self-development. During the time I have been here, I have gained a lot of knowledge in various fields, new acquaintances with other regions of Ukraine, with other national societies. We all work closely together, communicate, share experiences. If one of my people is outside Ukraine, they can find like-minded people with the same symbolism in another country and just talk about something in common. Around the globe, people have the same problems.