What motivated you to become a volunteer?
André always felt like he wanted to help others. Since he was a child he looked at the Red Cross with admiration and his family motivated him to join. He joined Red Cross Aruba almost 19 years ago. It’s become part of his life and gives him a lot of satisfaction.
What can you tell us about a recent activity you participated in as a Red Cross volunteer?
André tells us about his last Disaster Training in Curacao in May, 2016. He was part of the Triage and also Transport team. What really impressed him during the training, was that all islands have their own way of working, but at the end of the day, Red Cross is one. All respect each other’s methods and procedures, and all learn from each other and work together to get the best results. All six Caribbean Dutch islands participated in this annual training, and Red Cross Aruba will be hosting this inter-island training next year.
How do you see Red Cross Aruba in five years?
André tells us that RCA has changed a lot, every year. It’s grown so much in the years he has been part of the organization. “We have modernized a lot, and as volunteers we have a lot of growing opportunities, in our local organization but also internationally, by getting training from the Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). For example, many of us are trained and are certified NIT, PSP or Disaster Instructors in the IFRC. In five years I hope RCA has acquired more advanced equipment, a new ambulance and more vehicles to facilitate our work. Oh, and I think a gym for volunteers would be perfect!”
André goes on to say that when visiting other countries for the Red Cross, it is very clear that other governmental departments work very closely with the Red Cross. “I have seen the police block the road for the Red Cross to get on-site faster! I want to see more collaboration between departments, because that is the only way we can help our island…together!”