Photos by Brad Zerivitz and Jenelle Eli / American Red Cross
Text by Ibrahim Mollik / IFRC.
Nurjahan, together with her children, 10-year-old Mohammod Yunus (left), nine-year-old Norjuna and eight-year-old Mohammod Shofiq, live in a mega camp where hundreds of thousands of people face rain, strong winds, landslides, and flooding. Two years ago, they walked for 15 days before crossing the Naf River by boat to find safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Even though she was injured during the journey, Nurjahan is grateful for fellow migrants: “We got a lot of help from other refugees. That’s how we survived,” she recalls.
To keep her loved ones safe, Nurjahan learned first aid, search-and-rescue, and other preparedness skills. Today, Nurjahan she is a cyclone preparedness volunteer with Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.
Nurjahan and her fellow volunteers are ready to help keep their neighbors safe if a storm or other emergency occurs. She’s proud that her team will do what they can to help their neighbors.
“We go door-to-door giving people information about what to do if a storm hits,” Nurjahan explains.
In any emergency, they provide first aid and other support to people in need. Red Crescent volunteers also train their neighbors on first aid, as well as early warning systems and other skills so they can respond properly to rains, fire, flooding, landslides, and cyclones.
Fire sometimes breaks out in crowded camps like these, and so are one of the major risks to manage. Volunteers carry out drills, demonstrate how to respond to fires and warn fellow residents of danger.
Volunteers are also trained how to safely transport any people injured in an emergency or crisis to the nearest health post. As many areas of the camp are inaccessible by car, being able to move injured people quickly could save lives in an emergency.
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society trained thousands of camp resident and local (host) community members in Cox’s Bazar with the support from American Red Cross and other partners to respond immediately.