Tandiwe Muramba has 2 children of her own Natasha, 10, and Shingirai, 14.
I’ve been doing volunteer work since 1992 when I first learnt first aid, and I’ve been volunteering with the Red Cross in Muzarabani, Zimbabwe for the last four years. Most of my work with the Red Cross is as a Nursing Assistant. I help nurses at the local clinic with basic patient care, I’m specially trained in first aid, and I’m also involved in the home based care projects for people living with HIV and AIDS. That can involve helping people take their medicine, helping them with simple tasks around the home and also providing psycho social support.
As a Red Cross volunteer I’m also involved in projects to help educate the community about issues which can specifically affect them. This includes basic health and HIV prevention education. In Muzarabani I have also helped educate people about flooding so the communities know to watch out for rising water and to move to higher ground as quickly as possible. It’s very unusual to see floods at this time of year, usually we don’t see any flooding until the middle February and then only in a few places, this time the flooding started in December and the water is everywhere. People say it hasn’t been like this for 20 years.
The floods have been causing real hardship for people. I was involved in warning some of the villages that the floods were coming and that people should leave their homes. We tell people to make sure they know the route to get to higher ground from their homes and also we tell them to put sticks in the ground so they can monitor water levels and see when the water starts rising.
I became a Red Cross volunteer because I want to help people, our country has a lot of hardship and anything anyone can do to help is very valuable. It’s a good feeling volunteering for the Red Cross, I have received special training and education and I feel that I can help myself, other people and the whole community.
I think more people should become Red Cross volunteers, we do not have to just sit and suffer these hardships, through volunteering we can help and support our communities, we can help ourselves and each other. I always encourage my children to get involved with the Red Cross work and Michelle, my brother’s daughter who is 14 months old, I will make sure she becomes a volunteer when she is old enough.