Eighteen-year-old Soe Moe Khin is a community volunteer supporting the Red Cross in the small village of Myint Nar, a few miles up-river from the town of Sittwe, capital of Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.
Soe helped organise Red Cross cash distributions and trainings as part of a programme assisting communities impacted by flooding, cyclical violence and population movement.
“I help with communicating about Red Cross work to the people in my village, things like the cash grants and how to apply for them, and I also took part in the community-based first aid training from the Red Cross.
I became a volunteer because I want to be able to help people and in future I would like to work for the Red Cross full-time, I would like to become a livelihoods officer.
The Red Cross help people when they are in trouble, and that’s what I want to do. I want to be able to travel to different places around my community and help people.
I’ve seen the Red Cross grants going to people to support livelihoods and also the training they have done with people, and I really like it. The cash grants have been useful, people say the support was good and that it helped them in their lives.
My family got a grant for US$160 to help with the weaving business we have. Before we rented a loom from other people but now we have been able to buy our own, so we don’t have to pay rent any more.
I would definitely recommend for other people to become community volunteers. I’ve already told my friends that they should do it too. The Red Cross is helping the community and it’s good fun, so I think everyone should do this.”