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Tsunami Spurs Interest In Delegate Programme

Tsunami Spurs Interest In Delegate Programme

The Boxing Day Tsunami has generated ongoing interest from New Zealanders who want to take a hands-on approach in providing aid.

New Zealand Red Cross has received 200 enquiries and 35 applications for its 2005 field worker training programme.

Applications close on Friday, April 15, and successful applicants will attend a basic training course in September.

NZ Red Cross operations manager Andrew McKie says many applicants have said they would like to work in tsunami-affected areas.

“There is a feeling we are sitting here in our comfort zone thinking ‘there must be something more we can do other than give money’.”

After the tsunami, Red Cross received thousands of offers from volunteers wanting to help in South East Asia. However, Mr McKie says it only sends fully trained delegates to disaster-affected areas.

“People have a misunderstanding about how disasters are managed, they think relief needs are so intense that almost anyone can fly to the scene to offer help. Volunteers without those skills can do more harm than good, and siphon off critical logistics and translation services. We want people who can get off the plane straight away and not worry about funny-shaped toilets and different languages.”

NZ Red Cross needs candidates who are skilled in logistics, medical logistics, paediatric nursing, information technology/telecommunications, finance/administration and water and sanitation engineering. They need to have 5 years experience in their field of work, be able to cope with stress and work under pressure, be organised and analytical, be a good team player and in good health, and be strongly motivated by humanitarian work. Missions overseas are usually for between 3 and 12 months.

New Zealand Red Cross currently has 26 field workers on overseas missions including five in the Indonesia area.

Applicants should contact marian.evenblij@redcross.org.nz before April 15 or visit www.redcross.org.nz.



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