„German Red Cross Youth“ / April 2023
In this blog, I will share with you my experience of JDRK, the German Red Cross Youth in Stuttgart.
It is the independent youth organisation of the German Red Cross.
For those who don’t know, Red Cross is one of the oldest and most well-known health care organisations in the world. “It was on the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) initiative that States adopted the original Geneva Convention of 1864. ….. Today, all States are bound by the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 which, in times of armed conflict, protect wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of the armed forces, prisoners of war and civilians.” (For more information: https://www.icrc.org/en/mandate-and-mission )
It is an organisation that has shown its peaceful policy many times with its impartial aid to the prisoners, the wounded and refugees during the war. Nowadays, besides providing health services, there are also education and humanitarian services for people of all ages and groups.
The Red Cross was an organisation that I was very interested in since I was a child. Mainly because of their peaceful policy and international recognition.
I have to say that I love being in the health sector and everything related to health. This interest is the reason why I studied first and emergency aid at the university. That’s why I loved it from the first week and feel like I’m where I need to be.
I was very excited when I heard that Red Cross Youth is a member organisation of Stadtjugendring. I was keen on the opportunity to participate in their local youth work.
When I shared this interest with my mentor, she contacted the responsible youth worker of the Red Cross Youth to figure out how and where I can contribute to their local youth work. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to get in touch with the local Red Cross Youth Group in Stuttgart Feuerbach. They organise weekly meetings to educate children aged 14 to 16. After briefly getting to know the youth leaders, I attended one of these meetings.
In the meeting, I had a role more like an observer/participant. We examined the cases of stroke together and talked about what and how it is happening, and what to do in this situation. We closed the meeting by a practical re-enactment of the situation.
My experience that week made me very happy and encouraged me for more participation. As I observed, they were interactive and practical trainings, which we discussed and brainstormed. I think it was very useful and educational for that age group. I believe that the information children talk and think about is more likely to stick in their memory.
With these thoughts, I contacted Anna, one of the youth leaders, about contributing more at the next meeting. While she welcomed my offer very warmly, she also gave me the freedom to choose the topic of the meeting.
My choice fell on the topic “Heart Attack”. Along with the information I observed and gained from the previous meeting, I planned and tried to make the topic more interesting for the children by finding materials for the new meeting and preparing small cards and pictures.
Even though I couldn’t show the cards because I forgot them at home on the day of the meeting, I believe we had a good meeting with the animations I found, the conversations we had about it and the re-enactment of the situation.
For me, this experience was a very useful experience because of the personal meaning of this organisation and last but not least, because it was the first project I planned, prepared and contributed to on my own in my favourite field of interest “children and health”.
It has already taken by me a place in the list of beautiful and exciting events I experienced during my volunteering process!
See you soon with another story!