The pillars of our structural projects

First aid

Training people in first aid is the most cost-effective way to improve the health of the population in middle- and low-income countries, according to research by the World Bank.
That is why we support our sister societies in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Uganda and South Africa to develop their first aid provision. With AFAM, we also offer them teaching materials to develop their own first aid courses, tailored to an African context. This enables them to train more people in first aid, more effectively.

Nepal Red Cross

Providing first aid training to companies can be a major source of income for Red Cross Societies, making them less dependent on outside help. Together with the Nepal Red Cross, we investigated how the first aid expertise we had built up together could be passed on to Nepalese companies. This would not only help to disseminate first aid among the population but would also contribute to the financial sustainability of the Nepal Red Cross.

On our advice, the Nepal Red Cross wrote to companies offering to teach first aid courses to their employees. One of the first businesses to sign up was NCell, Nepal’s largest telecommunications company. Take-up has risen steadily, with 33 courses dispensed in 2011 (620 participants) and 45 in 2012 (759 participants).

The money raised from this training goes into a first aid fund, which has nearly doubled in size in the space of a year. The Nepal Red Cross uses it to part-fund equipment and materials for its activities.

Basic healthcare

We support the Red Cross Societies in Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Nepal with developing good basic healthcare. The local population in these countries has little or no access to healthcare, especially in rural areas.

Our aim is to improve the general health of the population in the project areas. We are doing this in two ways: by preventing diseases (preventive medicine) and by improving access to healthcare.
To this end, we work closely with local communities and volunteers. They help us to analyze what the main health problems are, raise awareness among the population about health issues, build health centers, and so on.


Burundi Red Cross

Burundi has just 80 doctors for a population of almost 10 million people. Of these, 57 work in the capital Bujumbura. Compare this with Belgium, which has one doctor for every 220 inhabitants.
As well as improving access to healthcare, Belgian Red Cross-Flanders also focuses on disease prevention. We therefore assisted the Burundi Red Cross with a project in Bubanza Province aimed at informing the population about diseases and prevention.

Burundi Red Cross volunteers go from house to house advising residents on why they should wash their hands before eating, how to build a latrine and how to avoid malaria. The volunteers are given training before they can begin this work.

This course has been completely overhauled. The complicated, academic training in which participants were overwhelmed with medical facts has been scrapped. With guidance and support from Belgian Red Cross-Flanders, the Burundi Red Cross has developed a training cycle in which the transmission of a number of key messages is given central priority.

The emphasis in the new course is on mobilization techniques and teaching skills. Everything has been simplified, in terms of both scope and content and also terminology. Trainees are now given an information sheet in Kirundi to remind them of the key messages they need to convey during house visits.

Capacity building

We assist the Red Cross Societies in Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Nepal with organizational development. The more efficiently and independently a Red Cross Society can work, the less outside help that organization requires.    

Namibia Red Cross

This is something that the Namibia Red Cross has understood well. With support from Belgian Red Cross-Flanders, the organization is working hard to strengthen its fundraising and its regional branches.

The Namibia Red Cross has started to develop a fundraising strategy. By generating income from workplace first aid, for example, the organization is becoming less dependent on external donors.

In 2012, the Namibia Red Cross also worked on volunteer management. Red Cross employees received training in volunteer database management and a volunteer policy was drawn up.


Related items:

Structural projects
Branches and regions support too