Volunteers: Local Heroes Bringing Skills to their Community

International Medical Corps believes that passing on skills and knowledge fosters self-reliance.

A volunteer carrying out maintenance work at International Medical Corps hospital inside Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan, April 2018.

Training enables people who have been struck by conflict, disease or disaster to not only benefit from aid but also to develop their own, innate potential to become resilient in the face of disaster. This is why the organization has always been so passionate about training and why it remains a longstanding priority for us.

A road sign outside Azraq Refugee Camp, Zarqa Governorate, Jordan, April 2018.

Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, the second-largest camp for Syrian refugees in the country, shelters some 40,000 Syrian refugees. International Medical Corps is the main healthcare provider inside the camp, where about 130 volunteers help us carry out our lifesaving work. Forty-five of them work at Azraq Hospital, the only fully equipped hospital in the refugee camp.

A midwife and a Syrian volunteer inside the maternity ward at International Medical Corps’ hospital in Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan, April 2018.

All volunteers receive a training package that includes child safeguarding and review of the International Medical Corps Code of Conduct. Depending on the role, training that is more technical is sometimes also provided; this always includes monitoring and supervision. Community Health Workers (CHW) receive, on average, a dozen training sessions before playing this crucial role.

A sign outside International Medical Corps’ CHW office inside Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan, April 2018.

CHWs often take a leading role within their community, informing family, friends and neighbors about hygiene and sanitation, as well as young-child feeding. In areas where children suffer from malnutrition, they also screen for problems and refer cases to the nearest clinic.

Volunteer midwife Reyhab is holding Mayar, a baby girl delivered at Azraq Hospital some months earlier, while speaking to her mother, Jordan, July 2018.

In 2017, International Medical Corps introduced psychological first aid (PFA) to 395 local healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses and midwives. The training provided insights on some of the most common psychological responses that individuals develop in the wake of direct exposure to distressing and often violent events, such as fleeing conflict.

A Syrian volunteer makes sure the Azraq Hospital Lab is clean and organised, Jordan, April 2018.

In the same year, International Medical Corps awarded more than 106,000 training certificates, in a variety of disciplines, to people it has helped around the world—people who then share these new skills within their communities, helping to render them less vulnerable should disaster strike again.

Help us save lives.