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Unit Disaster Response Team ÔÇô Ready to Respond to Disasters

April 18, 2017

School based Disaster Risk Reduction (SBDRR) programme hasnÔÇÖt only imparted necessary knowledge and skills among the students of different schools but also has been a major driving force to augment the capacity of the UDRT of Gazipur unit. Unit disaster response team plays a key role while responding to disasters of any kind. Therefore, they need to be prepared in a manner, which will allow the team to work effectively and efficiently during disaster. But apart from that, UDRT members, led by a UDRT leader, are also responsible to volunteer in conducting trainings in schools and actively participate as a trainer when necessary. Mr. Rubel Sarkar, one of the diligent UDRT members, shared his experiences of learning through SBDRR programme. ÔÇ£I had participated in different ToT trainings and workshops on Disaster Risk Reduction, First Aid, Light Search and Rescue, Vulnerability Capacity Assessment, which helped to widen the domain of my knowledge in these areas.ÔÇØ This is amazing to see how these youth members are becoming good trainers after this sort of training of trainers programme. ÔÇ£I have conducted at least 100 sessions in different schools in Gazipur in the last 18 months and assisted in about another 100 sessions. I have gained massive confidence as a trainer, as a speaker and a volunteer.ÔÇØ He further elaborated how the whole programme was of immense use to the unit volunteers. The volunteers even responded to the Tampaco fire incident in Tongi directly and rendered first aid service and rescue operation. The trainings under SBDRR programme helped them to launch the successful response operation there.

Ms. JannatulFerdous, another member of the UDRT team, believes her understanding on disasters was not satisfactory previously. But, as a Red Crescent volunteer, she always wanted to improve her knowledge. SBDRR programme was a great platform to her to enhance essential skills and knowledge. ÔÇ£The best part of this programme was our learning was not limited to theoretical understanding. We went to the schools and instructed the school children. We practically learned how to conduct sessions and therefore could give our best to teach the school kids.ÔÇØ She emphasized that the spirit of volunteerism was spread through this programme. Skills such as leadership, management, organizing were well instilled within the school participants as well as the unit volunteers.

Ms. ShetuAkter however had a different way of explaining how she finds this programme. She talked about the sustainability of the learning. ÔÇ£The programme will phase out, but the knowledge, learnings, skills, and the trainings which have been inculcated within us through this programme will not phase out. Those will remain with us forever. And with these skills and our resources we can prove ourselves to be the most effective and efficient unit disaster response team in Bangladesh.ÔÇØ Bangladesh Red Crescent Society along with IFRC is confident to respond to disasters swiftly and efficiently having such optimistic, energetic, and well informed volunteers and UDRT members in their pool of resources.

Ms. Jaheda, completingher BachelorÔÇÖs programme, is a fervent and motivated Unit Disaster Response Team (UDRT) member always ready to stand beside the vulnerable people during any disasters. She is one of the most active UDRT members of Gazipur district. She has received a series of trainings on School based Disaster Preparedness (SBDP), First Aid (FA), Light Search and Rescue (LSAR), Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) and Emergency Response under School based Disaster Risk Reduction (SBDRR) project of the Urban Disaster Risk Reduction (UDRR)Programme. The project funded by Hong Kong Red Cross and managed by Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) with support from International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) aims to build safer and more resilient schools in an urban setting by reducing their risks. She has quickly mastered the techniques of first-aid. In summer Bangladesh experiences extreme heat. Most people are unaware of the precautions and suffer from scorching heat. An efficient first aider thus becomes very useful during this time of the year. She enjoys spreading her knowledge by taking classes on firstaid and wishes to introduce school students with practical learning initiatives. In addition to the technical skills, her voluntary involvement with the BDRCS has enhanced her leadership and organizing skills. Since her involvement with the RCRC Movement, she has never undermined her confidence and ability and believes in achieving success by merit and hardship. Her bold determination to overthrow the gender stigma also reassures her devotion to serve humanity with great confidence and compassion.

Shariful, one of the brightest volunteers of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), Gazipur, has already marked his talent by securing second position in the National Disaster Response Team (NDRT) training held in 2016. Being affiliated with BDRCS for last 7 years, he is now the Chief of Red Crescent Youth (RCY) of Gazipur RC Unit. His role started with collecting and coordinating Unit Disaster Response Team (UDRT) members and building capacity. Till now he has received five Training of Trainers (ToT) and trainings - School Based Disaster Preparedness (SBDP), First Aid (FA), Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA), Light Search and Rescue (LSAR), Emergency Response (ER). from the SBDRR project on different occasions. After the completion of all trainings, he and the other successful participants now provide and facilitate trainings on Basic Disaster Risk Management (BDRM), FA, LSAR and earthquake mock drill for school children.

As an NDRT member, he has actively participated in several disaster response and recovery programme, including the horrific Rana Plaza building collapse. He was deployed in Chittagong for the cyclone Roanu operation where he was responsible for conducting Joint Needs Assessment (JNA), beneficiary selection and relief distribution. His leadership has helped the team complete the tasks swiftly in the communities. He diffused the motivation to work for the vulnerable people among other volunteers. He also dreams to develop a career in the humanitarian sector to further reinforce his determination, learnings, experience and passion to work for humanity.

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