RedCross Leadership Course 2 - Day 1

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I don't think that I need to tell you that today was a long day. Although the course ended around 18:30, some colleagues and I were sitting on the outside of the hall until now.

I woke up at around 6 and when I walked downstairs to get a coffee from the machine nobody was there. Obviously, since the main courses only started around 7:30. By 8 am I noticed a bunch of young men around and thought if that was the new civilian service course (yes it is).

Besides all the interesting stuff I learned today the last lecture was definitely the most impressive one. A guy from higher up on the career ladder told us about humanitarian operations of the red cross and red crescent movent.

Before I continue I have to say that the main course I'm doing now is completely away from the paramedic stuff I did till now. It basically has nothing to do with it, but it is one of the main responsibilities of the red cross and red crescent movement.

Anyway, he told us about the "WASH" Team (Water Sanitary Hygiene) and how he was in several states with water problems and how they resolved them with large tanks and a bunch of chemicals.
As I've written, I was really impressed.

With about 5 days of prep, they were sent to South Sudan as a cholera epidemic was just beginning. The main cause of the epidemic is that people were literary shitting near the river and as soon as the rainy season all those faeces were washed into the river where people would take their freshwater from.

In about three weeks they build up a small (600000 litre per day) water cleaning plant to clean the river water for the people.

I think I have written about going to a problematic state and helping develop stuff before. Well, I think I found something where I could do that "relatively" easy.

Normally the team is deployed within a few days and stay for about a month at the crisis place. After that, another, smaller, team arrives to teach the local red cross and red crescent organizations how to use the plant.

The whole plant is donated as a whole and the last team flys back around three to four months after the first arrived.

But there are a few "downsides":

- Your employer has to give you a month or more of unpaid leave.
- You will be deployed to sometimes insecure areas. For example, our presenter was told to never ever step off of the designated roads as South Sudan is planted with ground mines.
- You will receive pay but there are no free weekends and obviously no paid overtime.
- You're risking your life a little bit more than the average person.

But still, it is something I'm now seriously considering. Until today I didn't even know something like that even existed here in Styria.

Although I'm really tired now, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and learning more interesting stuff…

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