By Nora Peter, IFRC

Over 10,000 volunteers from 140 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies gathered this year in Solferino, the small Italian town where Henry Dunant had founded the world’s largest volunteer-based movement.

From 17 – 23 June, a Red Cross Camp was set up in Solferino hosting workshops and in-depth discussions, including a session dedicated to the Enhancing Aid Capacities project and the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

The EU Aid Volunteers workshop took place at the National Research Center – Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering booth. The discussion centered around the topic of online volunteering, an invaluable resource in emergency operations and disaster risk reduction. A recent example for this was the Mozambique operation of the Italian Red Cross in support of the people affected by Cyclone Idai.

The event provided a great forum for discussion on the integration of scientific partners in emergency information management, the use of mobile devices for data collection and the need for digital archives in dealing with emergencies.

The two-year project EU Aid Volunteers – Enhancing Aid Capacities is implemented by the IFRC in partnership with the Red Cross societies of Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and The Netherlands with the aim to improve the capability of organizations to provide quality support, managing enhanced pools of competent volunteers and staff for emergency response and improving remote support of operations.