A special thank you goes to our amazing volunteers who have given up their time and used their skills to assist more than 1,000 international Red Cross Red Crescent visitors during their stay in Sydney.
Held in Australia for the first time, the Statutory Meetings wouldn't have been possible without the help of more than 360 volunteers. We are grateful to our volunteers who have transported more than 1,000 delegates from the airport, provided translation services, took photos and posted on social media…and much much more.
A friendly call from the Humanitarian Village
Zalak Shah is one volunteer truly making a difference. While volunteering at the international meetings of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in Sydney, she still manages to make a daily phone call to an isolated community member, to check they're okay.
Red Cross volunteers including Zalak Shah are making their daily calls to isolated elderly people each day from the Humanitarian Village in Sydney.
It's part of Red Cross' service to connect people who are living alone to a friendly voice at the end of the phone every day.
Every day of the year Red Cross volunteers call more than 5,000 people to check they're OK. If the calls aren't answered an escalation process is put in place. The calls provide reassurance, help maintain independence and allow people to live with confidence in their own homes.
This morning, Zalak called Hazel from the social inclusion display at the Village. Hazel let her know everything is well and she had already ironed a basket of laundry!
Thank you to Zalak who is going above and beyond, helping us both deliver the international meetings of the Red Cross Red Crescent movement in Sydney, as well helping someone live independently at home!
Taking time out to volunteer
Mohammad Farooq speaks seven languages and has taken time to volunteer to welcome our non-English speaking international visitors.
Mohammad Farooq, 33, is volunteering for ten days at the international meetings of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement in Sydney.
Originally from Pakistan, Mohammad has a talent for languages. Speaking English, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Russian and Pashto, Mohammad enjoys working at the registration desk for the meetings, which means he's often the first one to welcome one of the 1,000 delegates from more than 180 countries around the world.
"It's a great feeling when the delegates need someone who speaks their language and I can help them." Providing support is natural to Mohammad: "I had time to give to Red Cross and I did. Red Cross is there first to help in national disasters, in health and in conflict so I'm here to help Red Cross do that."
Meet young volunteer, Cordelia Prowd
Cordelia jumped at an opportunity on facebook and took annual leave from her fulltime job to volunteer in Sydney!
Cordelia, 21, started volunteering at 15. Growing up with the belief that it's important to give back to the community, Cordelia saw an advertisement on Australian Red Cross' facebook page that caught her eye.
"It said there would be a lot of youth and exciting people from different countries to engage with. It sounded like something I'd like to do."
A short time later, Cordelia took annual leave from her job in Melbourne and travelled to Sydney to become one of the more than 360 volunteers to welcome delegates for the Statutory Meetings.
"I've met a lot of interesting people, both volunteers and delegates. We had a party the other night with all the people from the youth conference. It was really exciting, nearly 200 countries celebrating together and getting to know each other," she says.
Cordelia says she has really enjoyed the experience and definitely will continue to volunteer with Red Cross.