More than 500 refugees are expected to be trained from the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) in First Aid and the basic principles of self-protection, in the context of the «Learn - Prevent - Protect» program, conducted with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The program is implemented following the Nansen Refugee Award 2016 that was presented to the Hellenic Rescue Team from the United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award) as recognition of the efforts of HRT’ s volunteers to save refugees in distress at sea in the islands of the eastern Aegean. The award, which is considered as the highest UNHCR distinction, was bestowed in 2016 to the Hellenic Rescue Team and Effie Latsoudis, a volunteer in the refugee hosting open space at the former PIKPA in Lesvos.
With the help and guidance of the HRT members, adult and teenage refugees hosted in apartments, support services and camps in the wider area of Thessaloniki are trained in basic principles of First Aid in order to be able to help any person that might be at risk and, at the same time, learn how to protect themselves in emergency situations. In addition, they are trained in fire safety and the use of fire extinguisher, as well as in methods of preventing and dealing with emergency situations caused by extreme weather conditions, such as floods, fires and frost. This training module also includes self-protection in case of an earthquake.
The training course “Safeland” of the program is targeted at teenagers and young people and includes interactive games on maritime safety and nature activities. In “Safeland”, young refugees are trained in the use of safety equipment used in the sea, such as life jackets, naval and mountaineering knots, orientation and survival in nature. With this activity, which is taught like a game, young refugees are given the opportunity to interact and love nature, learning at the same time how to deal with the dangers they may encounter as well as how to work together as a group. The spirit of teamwork, nevertheless, is an important parameter of volunteering, a value that is an important pillar of this program.
Training has already been carried out on the structures of Arsis, Solidarity Now, Praksis and Be a Robin-Israid, and 249 refugees have been trained so far. The program will continue with a view to completion by the end of the year.
*The photos are from the course "Safeland"