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Season one

In season one of our popular How Aid Works podcast, Australian Red Cross aid workers speak to us about the challenges of providing aid - in the crises that make the news and the ones that don't.

Humanitarian workers in the Ebola crisis taking extreme precautions to ensure they're not infected while helping the sick.

Dirty jobs that save the world

You don’t stop diseases like Ebola with doctors. You stop them with garbage collectors, plumbers and grave-diggers.

Overcrowded refugee camps in Africa need your help now.

Ten men in a tent

Emergency shelter is a complex thing. How do you keep diseases from spreading? How do you protect women and children?

Red Cross humanitarian workers surveying the disaster after Cycling Winston.

Disasters and do-gooders

Everyone wants to help when a major disaster hits: from relief agencies marking their turf to well-intentioned foreigners wanting to volunteer.

Red Cross humanitarian workers helping civilians escape danger during the Syria crisis.

The all-access pass

A red cross or red crescent on a white background means ‘don’t shoot!’ in every language. It’s meant to give aid workers access to the most difficult and dangerous places on earth: from prisons to battlefields.

Red Cross humanitarian workers performing surgery.

War surgery

This is medicine stripped to the core: mending broken bodies by torchlight, in a tent in the heart of a swamp.

Red Cross workers ensuring the Geneva conventions are respected throughout the world.

The observer effect

You can access any prison, any detention centre, any gulag or PoW camp, anywhere in the world… but you can never tell anyone what you see there.

Gentleman rebuilding his destroyed home after a natural disaster.

Is it fixed yet?

Why are people still homeless three months after a massive relief effort in Vanuatu?

Shelter provided by Red Cross while local families wait for their home to be rebuilt after a natural disaster.

Modern family: Kathmandu

The Nepal earthquake changed families in profound ways. Most lost their homes. Some lost children or parents. And a few special people formed their own family when no one else would have them.

Child fleeing the massive outbreak of violence in Syria.

How quickly the world went to hell

In Sydney, a massive outbreak of armed violence forced millions of people to flee for their lives, to any place where they were no longer being shot at. No, wait. Not Sydney. Syria.

Red Cross humanitarians preparing for work after the Nepal earthquake.

No really, I'm fine

How emotionally healthy are people who spend their working lives in disaster zones? And if that’s your career path, how do you manage your stress?

Don't shoot, Red Cross is not part of the fight.

What's a humanitarian when it's at home?

It’s not a great time to be a humanitarian. Around the world, they’re being shot at, sent home or silenced. We talk about what it means – and what it costs – to be humanitarian.

Don't donate underwear to post-disaster appeals, listen to our podcast and find out why.

Regulating good intentions

What should you send a country that’s been hit by a disaster? Here’s a tip from Finau Limuloa: don’t send bras. In fact, don’t send anything.

Water engineer Gordon Ewers works hard to get clean water to post-disaster areas.

Good water after bad

Your challenge: get safe drinking water to an island where a cyclone has destroyed all the water tanks and an active volcano is spewing ash everywhere.

Nepali children were some of the hardest hit by the earthquake, with schools and homes destroyed.


In the wake of a disaster, everything you’ve learned about child protection comes sharply into focus.

Refugees spends days and weeks walking to escape brutal conditions for a better life.


How do you solve a problem like 85,000 people and no toilets?

Red Cross volunteers getting disinfected after working in the Ebola crisis.

The pitter-patter of ebola vomit

How well did our humanitarians face the big disasters of last year – the disease outbreaks, the earthquakes, the conflicts that created a global refugee crisis?