UNAIR NEWS – Several natural disasters that takes so many lives. As an agent of change, several humanitarian movements are carried out by students to reduce burden of the victims.
Not only by collecting donation, but also directly involved in the affected locations to become volunteers. One of them was UNAIR volunteer open recruitment to to help Sunda Strait tsunami victim.
UNAIR NEWS successfully contacted Dr. Atik Choirul Hidajah, M.Kes, Head of Department of Epidemiology at Faculty of Public Health (FKM) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) to share knowledge related to the world of volunteerism. Not only Atik, UNAIR NEWS also managed to contact Hamzah Yasfi Akbar Sholihin or Hamzah, FKM UNAIR students as well as members of the PMI Voluntary Corps (KSR) Bogor since September 2015.
Hamzah also became a PMI volunteer who received an assignment to Pandeglang, from 25-29 December 2018.
Things You Need to Consider to Become Volunteers
According to doctor Atik, there are at least five things that volunteers need to consider before become a volunteer. The first is time or in what phase of volunteer will go to the location. Whether volunteers come to the location during the emergency response phase or during recovery.
“If the team comes to the location during recovery phase, then the activities carried out will also have to be appropriate, such as providing trauma healing or repairing and providing sanitation,” explained Atik.
Volunteers should be educated refers to the Regulation of Head of Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNBP) No. 17 of 2011 concerning Guidelines for Disaster Relief Volunteers.
On the document, there are at least ten competencies that volunteers need to have. Such as: search and rescue, public kitchen, logistics, information and communication, evacuation management, water management, sanitation and environmental health, refugee health, psychosocial management, minimum standards in disaster management, and disaster risk reduction.
“Students who will go to the location need to have at least some of these competencies,” he said.
Furthermore, volunteers also need to know about endemic diseases at the site. As an example the earthquake in Lombok on July 29, several areas were affected by malaria. So, people from outside the area who come to the location must take prophylactic drugs (health care and disease prevention, ed) first.
“Preventing or prophylactic action itself is not only by taking medication. It can be adjusted other actions to prevent the diseases.” said Atik.
Next is recognizing local character or culture. According to Atik, this is useful for designing programs with approaches that will be appropriate to local community. With this, the program can run well and increase the chances of success.
Fifth, be healthy. Volunteers come to the location to help victims and other volunteers. Therefore, volunteers must stay healthy so it will not be a burden for other volunteers.
“Everyone there will have to concentrate on doing something while helping the community. Don’t let them even bother to take care of us too.” he added.
For this reason, volunteers need to pay attention to their rest periods. Eat nutritious food and take vitamins. In addition, volunteers also need to bring their personal medicine.
Based on his experience, Hamzah explained that to be a volunteer someone needs to pay attention to many things like personal health, parent’s permission, physical and mental readiness, letter of assignment, preparation for logistics.
“Volunteers should be sincere and work hard” said Hamzah.
Always Be Ready in a Potential Location
When volunteers are in potential disaster location, they must be able to know the signs beforehand. An example is Sunda Strait area which has the potential for a subsequent tsunami due to volcanic activity of Mount Krakatau.
“When they in that location, volunteers need to know the signs of a tsunami. Moreover, the disasters that occurred in Banten and Lampung occurred outside estimates.” explained Atik.
In addition to know the signs, volunteers should know how to save themselves when a disaster strikes. In the case of a tsunami, volunteer should run to a higher place. If it is not possible, volunteers can look for boards or objects that can float, and so on.
“Volunteers also need to understand techniques or ways to save themselves when a disaster strikes.” explained Atik.
As someone who will go into the location, volunteers should be positive and tough. Because they will face more problem in there. If their soul is not strong enough to be in affected environment, how can a volunteer help community?
“You should not be reckless in disaster areas. It is necessary to have people who are physically and mentally prepared. “Helping, empathy, and other good things,” he explained.
Based on Hamzah‘s experience when he was assigned to Pandeglang, a lot of interesting and sad things happened in there. One of them was when Hamzah met with refugees who need health services.
“I have met a lot of people who have broken bones but dont want to be treated and also people whose blood pressure is 140 to 200 and normal dizziness,” said Hamzah
This experience opened Hamzah’s eyes more and he can see all of different aspects from community. The main thing is mutual cooperation, help each other to build the area.
For friends who will go to serve as volunteers, Hamzah advised to keep on being devoted. Likewise with Atik also advised that volunteers should be prepared before go to the location.
Atik also hope that students can carry out their mission well. The current disaster condition is a real laboratory for students to implement their knowledge obtained during their time on college. (*)
Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia
Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh
This post is also available in: Indonesian