[27 June 2018, 5:30pm] 

Our mission visits Sanamxai Secondary School, which has been turned into an evacuation site following the heavy rains and flooding. It is housing close to 1,000 persons, with more expected to arrive. Evacuees are housed in classrooms and tents.

There is one functioning district hospital a kilometre away, but no major injuries have been reported so far. Doctors and medics are on standby on-site, and they expect cases of malaria and diarrhoea in the coming weeks.

Our volunteers spoke to Dr Vieng Xay, head of Attapeu branch at Lao Red Cross, who is coordinating the efforts amongst various national societies.

According to him, food rations are running low. The evacuation site now has one water tank from Lao Red Cross, filtering well water at 600 litres per hour.They are expecting two more filtration systems to arrive, so as to have enough supply for the evacuees in the school, and those in nearby centres.

Lao Red Cross is also working to step up sanitation facilities as more evacuees arrive.

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Singapore Red Cross is working closely with Lao Red Cross in Vientiane to pack relief supplies such as essentials, sleeping mats and blankets. These are expected to arrive at Attapeu tomorrow, for the advance team’s distribution to evacuation sites earliest possible.

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By Nur Fataniah Bte Rahim, Student of Republic Polytechnic; Diploma in Mass Communication

Photo: Ragiyah Parvin, Student of Republic Polytechnic; Diploma in Mass Communication

Youth aged 15 to 17 took a break from their regular diet of social media and took a deep dive into armed conflicts and humanitarian challenges at the Youth Humanitarian Leadership Camp. Organised by Singapore Red Cross Academy, the camp was held at Red Cross Training Campsite from 21 to 23 June.

By the time they had their final RAID CROSS activity on the third day, these youth had given medical treatment, navigated minefields and carried “injured” people in the line of fire.

RAID CROSS was the culmination of three days and two nights of the annual camp, which has been ongoing since 2014.  

“RAID CROSS may sound like an exciting activity. What is important is the key takeaway - that youth are aware of their own strengths and limitations, emphatically working together and applying the knowledge attained during the camp,” said Ms Faiszah Abdul Hamid, 46, Head of Singapore Red Cross Academy.

In an intense sequence that lasted five hours, the youth participants had to give correct medical aid to dummies with various injuries such as dislocated limbs and fractures. They also had to put on their thinking caps to conceive strategies to prosecute war criminals in war crimes scenarios. Agility and speed were the order of the day as they then traversed minefield posts on a plot of land and carried “casualties” to a rescue zone while being targeted by sniper attacks.

It was a challenging yet eye-opening activity for the teenagers.

“It was not easy at first, but the activity changed my mindset especially with regard to the principles that Red Cross was founded on. I believe they (the principles) are important for all individuals,” said Mantoo Krish, a 16-year-old student from Anglo-Chinese School International.

During the first two days of the camp, the participants learned how to adopt the principles of Red Cross and discover their own leadership styles, to prepare for the main event on the third day.

For Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Yap Jing Yi Nadia, 16, the activity improved her response and preparedness for such crises if they were to happen in Singapore.

“I’ve learnt skills such as evacuation, humanitarian law and first-aid and know that I’m quite prepared to face these situations. More people should come for the camp, so we could have more prepared individuals,” affirmed Nadia.