Humanity First UK: Disaster Response Course

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Masood Malik, Director Disaster Relief, Humanity First UK

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, has regularly put an emphasis on members of the Jamaat preparing for any disaster situation. In response to this Humanity First held a disaster response course on 31 August 2019 at Jamia Ahmadiyya UK.

This was a course run by the Humanity First International team to train members of the UK fraction, with the aim of creating a team that can carry out a similar course for Khuddam and Ansar across the country. This was a successful one-day event attended by 24 people, of which twenty two members were from the Humanity First UK Disaster Relief (DR) team.

The course started off with an introduction by Dr Aziz Hafiz, head of Humanity First International DR. In his talk, he said that “disaster relief has been around since the start of time” and spoke about the importance of showing emotion in humanitarian relief.

The resdt of the day covered the three main phases when managing an emergency: preparation, response and recovery. To give a perspective of the types of disaster responses within the UK the different levels of emergencies were described, ranging from significant to catastrophic. The response to each of those emergencies were explained.

One of the sessions required teams to make an assessment of a response to a plane crash. They were taught that to make an assessment in any disaster situation one must consider safety, logistics, funding, medical response and business continuity. It is also important to identify all the stakeholders involved.

Furthermore, trainees were told to get involved on a local level by joining the Local Resilience Forums, which are comprised of local organisations that support the response to any emergency. Apart from this there were sessions discussing mental health problems and everyone was trained in basic first aid.

To create an interactive course, disaster simulations were carried out at the start and end of the day. The trainees were able to provide a better response by the end due to applying the skills and knowledge they gained throughout the day.

One of the key themes in these simulations was safeguarding a disaster victim, which does not only include medical attention, but also safety and emotional support. In the closing session Dr Aziz Sahib praised the efforts of the team and reminded the attendees that they should forever be grateful for the opportunity to serve Allah the Almighty and gain His blessings.

May Allah enable us all to follow the instructions of our Khalifa and serve mankind to the best of our ability. Amin.

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