Help Red Cross is an online digital platform that aims to invite, train, and mobilise volunteers to join the Covid-19 Response Team.
The global pandemic has been extremely challenging for the Georgia Red Cross Society as well as for the National Societies across the globe. The Covid-19 outbreak in Georgia has triggered various severe public health and socio-economic challenges. The Georgia Red Cross Society has established close collaboration with the World Health Organization, with the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, and with Lugar Center. In coordination with the Ministry of Health and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Georgia Red Cross Society has elaborated and adapted internal guidelines on safety and protective measures for frontline volunteers and staff, as well as has developed various training modules.
Due to the increasing need for humanitarian support, public engagement has been increased. Because of the Covid-19 related restrictions, group training could not have been held in the office. For that, the Georgia Red Cross Society has created an online platform for the volunteers and the community members who wanted to be involved in the response activities of Covid-19.
Technical details & Operations
For being involved in the voluntary work regarding Covid-19 response, the volunteers have to complete the following steps:
- Visiting Help Red Cross. The following link has been published and boosted through the official GRCS social media and an official webpage, as well as through the different media channels;
- Register on the website. It is important to consider that the volunteers for the Covid-19 response have to be necessarily adults (minimum age 18) while for those who registered on the GRCS official website (for getting involved in other humanitarian activities except the Covid-19 response) the minimum age is 16 with a corresponding approval from parents. This important change indicates that all the volunteers have to take full personal responsibility in order to be involved in the matters related to Covid-19 response;
- Covering the training modules which include recommendations on personal protection measures, on safety and security of volunteers as well as of beneficiaries, social stigma, and stress-related to Covid-19;
- After completing the video training modules, the volunteers have to complete the tests based on the videos in order to check their knowledge of the subject. Those who are unable to pass the tests and complete the training modules successfully, will not participate in the volunteering work. However, everybody is given a chance to review the training modules and to retake the tests until they achieve their goal;
- After that, the representative from GRCS will contact the volunteers and inform them about the activities they can be involved in. It is important to mention that only after completing the tests can the registration be regarded as a successful one.
Deployment & Impact
Since the creation of the digital platform, all the volunteers willing to participate in the Covid-19 response have been gathered in a common digital space. The first volunteer registered on 25.03.2020 and by 13.04.2021 there have been more than 4000 volunteers registered through the website out of which more than 2000 volunteers completed the tests successfully and thus had been trained and involved in the Covid-19 response activities. Since its creation, Help Red Cross has become a mediation and the main source for making a country-wide impact in a humanitarian field.
The impact of Help Red Cross for the Georgia Red Cross Society can be summed up in the following main areas:
- Commitment – The platform of the Georgia Red Cross Society is an effective tool to engage the Georgian community, to cover 39 municipalities countrywide and to gather and train the volunteers for such a challenging event as the Covid-19 global pandemic. On the one hand, the opportunity is offered to everyone who is willing to engage in the humanitarian work initiated by GRCS. On the other hand, the digital platform helps the Georgia Red Cross Society to mobilise human resources efficiently and to respond successfully to the challenges triggered by the pandemic.
- Agility & Efficacy – one of the main advantages of Help Red Cross is that it accelerates and speeds up the effective registration and training processes of the volunteers which helps the Georgia Red Cross Society and its members to be more responsive during the global health crisis. Moreover, the testing and monitoring guarantee the efficacy of the preparedness of volunteers.
- Social Impact & Diversification – : Help Red Cross aims to strengthen the social involvement in humanitarian work and in the range of activities offered by the Georgia Red Cross Society. Moreover, it gives equal opportunity to the representatives of different social groups (by age, gender, ethnicity, religion, occupation, resistance, etc) to participate and help those in most need.
- Support – Help Red Cross is a source for the network and database of the active volunteers who are willing to participate in Covid-19 response. This digital platform plays a mediator role between Georgia Red Cross campaigns and beneficiaries by mobilizing and gathering the most powerful force – the volunteers.