April 3, 2012 : Ever wonder what the Red Cross do with large emergencies and disasters in international settings? Thanks to Rachel Meagher, the Public Health Officer in Emergencies and Training at the headquarters in Ottawa, as well as Claudia Laprise, the Junior Delegate who worked in Guyana, sharing their professional experiences working at home and abroad. The both of them are well-trained to work with communities to reduce risk, mitigate the effects of, prepare to respond, respond to and recover from disasters.
Rachel is a graduate of McGill nursing, who began her career in 2008 working in Nunavut. She found it extremely rewarding and intellectually-stimulating to work independently while intrigued by the work of the Red Cross emergency response unit. Through extensive training, Rachel was first deployed to Zimbabwe handling the cholera epidemic, then to Haiti, Chad, Cote d'lvoire, and other places of the world. She now trains medical professionals to work at the field hospital units. She highlighted that even though some places could be highly chaotic with a lot of violence after emergencies and disasters, there are also a lot of solidarity, dignity, and unity among communities to help and support each other.
We also had Claudia Laprise to share her experiences working with the communities in Guyana. Claudia found Red Cross' Community Based Risk Reduction Approach applicable in vulnerable communities as she was able to work with the local people. The micro-mitigation projects also allowed the local people to voice their wants and needs, which facilitated knowledge exchange. As field work and schooling offers different skills sets, Claudia is glad to have the two which offers her great career insights.
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