It’s International Day of Peace in September and as a Scout there are many ways to be a Messenger of Peace. In Tzaneen in Limpopo Scouts and community members participated in First Aid Courses aimed at providing them with basic skills to alleviate some of the pressure in emergency situations.
The Nkwowankowa district ran the first course to respond to a need in their community. The poverty stricken area has a high unemployment rate and the closest clinic is not easily accessible. Troop Scouter Rosemary Nkhwashu identified a lack of knowledge on how to handle some basic emergencies and with the support of Messengers of Peace funding, through the Ackerman Family Foundation, she organised a First Aid course aimed at teaching people how to give basic aid to those in need and as such ease some of the pressure when emergencies occur until medical practitioners are present. Participants were taught how to handle wounds, bleeding as well as cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Each one received a basic First Aid kit including gloves, mouth to mouth CPR pieces and triangular bandages. A total of 90 Scouts and 40 non Scouting community members benefited from the training.
A second course was run through the 1st Fobeni Scout Group by Troop Scouter Angelina Malatji. The Troop is run in a remote village where most of the children live with their grandparents or extended families. By providing the community with basic skills they are now able to assist each other in an emergency as the clinic is very far away and they would not be able to get help on time. So this way community members can assist the elderly and extended families quickly, after which they can depart to get the medical help. A total of 23 Scouts and 77 non-Scouts were trained to calm people down and survey emergency scenes, handle wounds and bleeding as well as CPR.
These courses are not accredited nor are they run by medical professionals, however the basic skills learnt can be invaluable when it comes to alleviating some of the pressure in emergency situations when medical help is far away. The participants are aware that the people they help must get medical attention as soon as possible. But by being able to help, they are being Messengers of Peace. (MOP 2013)
For more information about the Messengers of Peace initiatives in SA click here.