Visiting Red Cross speakers Jeanette Swayn, Ella Bouman and teacher Reinier BoumanOn Tuesday 29th May, students heard about some of the things that Red Cross does. It wasn't 'just' blood bank'. Jeanette Swayn spoke about the Emergency Relief that the Red Cross does. All this happens behind the scenes with Jeanette's team of volunteers putting in 1400 hours in 27 days during the bushfires around Cobden. By comparison a student will do a bit over 120 hours in 30 days attending school every session. Students also heard Ella Bouman speak about what the blood bank has meant to her and her journey into foreign aid.

Emergency Relief

Emergency Relief records where people are, to enable police and other services know that you are not missing. Remember on the first day of the fires, how your phone didn't work, your electricity was cut off and if you had an old fashioned landline, that didn't work either. Imagine trying to contact your family or loved ones when you can't communicate! This is what the Emergency Relief team does; making sure people can contact eachother. But that's not all.

They also coordinate food and essentials distribution. It's a very visible part of Emergency Relief and very much appreciated and needed. Finally they provided access to basic counselling resources and printed information that can point people in the right direction for a positive recovery. And that part of it is still happening in our Cobden area affected by fires.

Blood Bank and Foreign Aid

We also heard from Ella. She spoke about the life saving role the Blood Bank played in her life and how red blood cells and platelets are so vital in saving many people's lives. It changed her, gave her a new perspective on life and her future career. She then spoke about volunteering as a nurse on a medical ship all around Papua New Guinea where she eventually became the opthalmology team leader. The Red Cross needs people to work with them for Foreign Aid. If you have a practical skill, you can be put to great use in many, many places around the world to help people who need it.