Category: Aid Work

Protecting against attacks on our workers

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A destroyed ambulance

©ICRC/Jeroen Carrin

Assaults on health-care workers and those in their care are forbidden under international and humanitarian law, yet still they continue.

There were at least 921 violent incidents against health-care personnel, facilities and wounded or sick people in 2012, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is campaigning to raise awareness of the issue. More

Doctor who changed lives across the world reflects on ‘crazy’ international aid career

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For three decades surgeon Ken Barrand has brought life-changing healthcare to some of the most dangerous places on earth. After returning from his final deployment, a year in North Korea, he lifted the lid on his Red Cross career.

Ken is retiring after working for the International Committee of the Red Cross in countries such as Yemen, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, often performing surgery in war zones. More

How I became an international aid worker: Michael Kemsley

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© Michael Kemsley

Michael Kemsley tells us about the British Red Cross Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and why you need a thick skin.

1. What does your job involve?

Being a member of the ERU, I must be ready to respond to a global disaster at any given moment. When an emergency occurs, I work as part of a team to build latrines, showers and drainage systems so that people have access to basic hygiene facilities in the midst of a disaster zone. More

How I became an international aid worker: Sharon Reader

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Red Cross volunteer speaks to community members about cholera prevention

Red Cross volunteer speaks to community members about cholera prevention
© IFRC

Sharon Reader talks us through her role as a beneficiary communications delegate for the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) after returning from nine months in Sierra Leone.

1. What does your job involve?

My job is to improve the way the Red Cross communicates with people before, during and after an emergency. This has ranged from running a radio show on cholera prevention, to setting up an emergency text message system to reach people with warnings of hurricanes, fires or floods.

In the chaos of a major disaster, information on what’s happening and where to go for help can be just as important as handing out food and water. As human beings we want to know what’s going on – especially during a crisis. More

How I became an international aid worker: Aidan King

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People standing amid rubble in Gaza

The Palestinian Red Crescent assessing the needs of the local community
© ICRC

Aidan King gives the low-down on working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after returning from a 14-month mission in Gaza:

1. What does your job involve?

I work as a detention delegate for the ICRC, which is a role that involves visiting both prisoners of war and civilians interned during armed conflict.  Where possible, the ICRC also visits people detained in other situations of violence. More

How I became an international aid worker: Ben Webster

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Red Cross workers rescuing people from Philippines flood

Red Cross rescue team evacuates villagers to safety after Typhoon Bopha
© Philippines Red Cross

Ben Webster explains how he got his role as disaster response programme manager at the British Red Cross:

1. What does your job involve?

I work in the disaster response team and we are responsible for monitoring all of the disasters going on around the world. We provide analysis on what the humanitarian needs are (as well as the resources available to respond within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement) and then make recommendations as to if and how the British Red Cross can best support the situation on the ground. There are so many disasters happening around the world, it is tempting to try and support all of them in one way or another. However, we have to recognise that with limited resources, we need to make them count – which is why our team provides analysis to try and work out where the British Red Cross can really ‘add value’ to the humanitarian response and ensure our resources are used for maximum effect. More