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Red Cross reaches out to schools

Over 50 teachers and students drawn from Silobela and Gweru in Midlands province last Thursday graduated after completing a one-week course in community-based first aid.

By Staff Reporter

The graduation ceremony, which took place at Loreto High School in Silobela, was held jointly with the launch of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) disaster risk management programme for Midlands province.

Teachers and education authorities drawn from the province attended the event.

The first aid training was made possible by the ZRCS with the aim of equipping teachers and their pupils with disaster risk management and first aid skills.

Midlands Provincial Education director Agnes Gudo, in a speech read on her behalf at the graduation ceremony, hailed ZRCS for taking such an initiative.

“On behalf of the education directorate, I would like to commend the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for championing these trainings particularly targeting our community members and teachers in local schools,” she said.

“A lot happens in any environment and first aid skills are vital in minimising harm and risk.

It is my hope that the Red Cross will continue spearheading such trainings coupled with the junior first aid for students.”

Gudo said ZRCS training programmes were cost-effective as materials and instructors were provided at reasonable rates.

“Since ZRCS is a non-profit making organisation, the money we invest in training goes right back into our community to support life-saving initiatives, disaster management and developmental humanitarian programmes,” she said.

“The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society’s training programmes are also consistent and nationwide.

Their courses are customer-tested and standardised with a solid base of professional instructors to deliver them.

The courses are also developed by experts and the training materials are developed in collaboration with leading educational and medical authorities.

It is also important to note that the Red Cross first aid courses incorporate the latest science for first aid and bring you a wealth of educational innovations.”

Gudo said Red Cross in partnership with the Civil Protection Unit was rolling out disaster risk management training in schools thoughout the country.

ZRCS secretary-general Maxwell Phiri said embracing schools in the organisation’s first aid training programmes would go a long way in mitigating disasters in communities.

“I am encouraged by the strides we are making through our first aid in schools programme where we are training both teachers and students in basic first aid.

This is a national drive and we are happy with the support we are getting from government through the Ministry of Education in enacting this noble initiative,” Phiri said.

“Our national statistics also indicate a surge in the number of people trained from the mining sector, private companies, schools and general members of the public.

That alone bears testimony to the stake we have in first aid training in Zimbabwe.”

Phiri urged the Zimbabwean community, industry, the mining sector, schools and all concerned citizens to get trained in first aid and be empowered to save lives.

“The knowledge that you will gain through Zimbabwe Red Cross Society’s nationwide training programmes will equip you for any emergencies or disasters,” he said.

Last year’s first aid theme First Aid and domestic accidents, according to Phiri, reflects on how first aid remains an integral component in people’s lives.

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