Participants from all parts of Germany

humedica disaster relief training very popular

by Steffen Richter,  2013/06/19

About 30 participants from different parts of Germany and even from Switzerland spent the past week in Kaufbeuren. The reason for their stay, during which they were housed in tents, in very simple conditions, was the official humedica training camp, where potential volunteers are trained for real disaster relief operations. Crisis situations are included in the programme.

This extraordinary training week takes place on the premises of the Immanuel Church on Desse street in Neugablonz, a quarter of Kaufbeuren. It is not seldom that the employees of the neighbouring companies gather at their windows to observe these unusual and, at times, quite noisy happenings. One of the training units usually attracts particular attention.

A disaster has occurred. Loud screams are heard, seemingly injured and traumatized people are waiting for help. When a team of relief workers in red vests arrives, all the people affected would like to be helped immediately. Chaos breaks out, which gets even worse when the team receives an official call with the order to leave the place at once for security reasons.

From the impression it gave, the scenario described above, had it not definitely happened in Neugablonz, could have taken place in parts of Asia or Africa as well. In reality, what was going on was an evacuation exercise, a part of the humedica training for potential relief workers.

Exercises like these are not about fun. They represent serious training for reality, as Christian Freischlad, one of the three trainers, explains: “Of course, our exercises still differ a lot from real situations of disaster relief; and yet, these theoretical and practical exercises are an immensely important preparation since they are based on international standards and on our own experiences.”

During the six-day training, the participants not only have to practise in the woods of Gablonz, where local volunteers successfully prepare all kinds of exercises. They also have to gain essential theoretical knowledge, which they acquire in the rooms of the Immanuel Church or outdoors as well.

How do you keep an account during an aid mission? How do you set up a basic health post? What is tropical medicine like? What is the structure of the United Nations like and in what way are UN-facilities important for humedica? Why is sensitivity so important for intercultural communication? How do you deal with the media while you are on a mission?

Not all of the instructors are part of humedica’s permanent staff. Like the participants, they come from different regions and backgrounds as well. „One of the essential characteristics of our training camps is that we have excellent instructors and, thus, can guarantee a high-quality preparation for our medical missions“, Christian Freischlad adds.

“In the course of about one week, the participants were probably stretched to their limits several times. In consequence, they are tired now but well prepared for participating in a medical mission. The high quality of our preparation is also ensured by our workshop instructors who are all well -experienced in their field of work.”

So far, tiredness has not diminished the motivation of the participants who come from all parts of Germany. At least this is the impression created by the statement of one of the participants, Alexandra Vlantos: “I get to know interesting people, who think and feel in a similar way as I do. We are faced with interesting training units while staying in one of the most beautiful parts of Germany; all these positive aspects more than compensate for the effort.”

Every year, humedica offers up to four of these training camps, for which there is a great demand, as Christian Freischlad confirms: “The training weeks are fully booked after a short time. For this year, two more trainings are planned for July and September. The course in July is fully booked already, for the training in September application is still possible.”

The training camps are for members of medical professions as well as for people from other professional backgrounds, who can take part in our aid missions as coordinators. “We are very pleased about every single person who would like to join in our work as a volunteer”, says humedica managing director Wolfgang Groß. “As an organisation with a Bavarian identity and a strong connection to the Allgäu region, we are overjoyed when people from our area would like to take part in our aid missions.”

If you are interested in our missions and the obligatory training camps that precede them, please follow this link to find more information about the conditions for participation and the content of our trainings.

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