YK Poudel

The Bhutan Red Cross Society (BRCS) has trained 30 youth volunteers focal from 10 colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan on basic non-medical first aid and leadership.

This training, the first of its kind for BRCS youth volunteers in Bhutan, aims to equip volunteers with the skills needed to support communities during emergencies and disasters. The BRCS also launched the BRCS Youth Volunteer Base (YVB) in Thimphu.

The BRCS YVB focuses on young people who are interested in creating social change and providing humanitarian assistance when needed. The base is formed under BRCS to segment the age group and distinguish a clear mandate based on international obligations of youth representation in governance.

During the launch of BRCS YVB, a photo exhibition highlighting BRCS’s involvement and volunteerism during the Covid-19 pandemic was also exhibited.

According to Secretary General of BRCS, Dragyel Tenzin Dorjee, there are over 900 volunteers in 10 colleges working in grassroots communities. “The training enables the volunteers to integrate the skills learnt during the training at their respective colleges during emergencies and disasters.”

“First-aid training on basic and non-medical community support during emergencies based on International Red Cross Society standards is a vital strategy to meet the organisation’s 2030 goal. Such training focuses on youth mobilisation, allowing the volunteers to serve better with ability and interest,” he said.

BRCS has 21 branches in 20 dzongkhags, and the training focused on basic elements of first aid, preparedness with professionalism in command and control on non-medical community support.

Jamuna Kharka, a BRCS focal of Gedu College of Business Studies, said that the training enabled first-aiders like her to play a role during emergencies at her college and community.

Tandin Wangchuk, BRCS youth volunteer, said that the training helped him prepare to work towards improving the livelihood and well-being of vulnerable people.

The training and launch of the network are expected to build a branch and network of youths to develop humanitarian value with co-operation. The youth volunteer focal will undergo leadership training with the co-ordination of Blood Donation Drive today at the BRCS, which is open to the public.

BRCS is an autonomous and not-for-profit organisation established under the Bhutan Red Cross Society Act 2016. It has 866 registered youth volunteers across 10 colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan.

The two-day programme at the BRCS headquarters ends today.