Helois Ellien works in Paris for the French Red Cross managing its emergency response unit (ERU). He answers five questions about life as an aid worker.
1. What does your job involve?
We are a general emergency desk, capable of working with different Red Cross partners and responding to complex disasters and ongoing crises that may not make the news. This involves using specific logistics expertise to support emergency relief operations, as well as transferring our skills to partners in the field. We have also started to work on environmental issues; logistics efficiency, green activities, environmental impact assessments etc.
Before joining the ERU desk in Paris, I had not worked with volunteers at a national level and I started to organise and manage the teams with my previous non-governmental organisation (NGO) experience and the idea of professionalising the rosters quickly to be more effective and enhance the French Red Cross’ ability to respond to disasters. This has been my main motivation; taking up the challenge of leading the change. I hope it will work. The following months are going to be crucial. More