When true action is guided the love for humanitarian service

Published: 6 September 2016 19:06 CET

By Mirabelle Enaka Kima, IFRC

Nkie Tresor is 31 and has already counts 12 years of volunteer service with the Red Cross of the Democratic Republic of the Congo under his belt. He now finds himself on the front lines of one of the largest vaccination efforts ever launched in Africa.

A nurse by training, Nkie Tresor has been involved in humanitarian activities for many years, during which time he has gained sound experience in health care and social action. 

Trained in community-based health and first aid, he has been identified to participate in the social mobilization activities as part of the ongoing preventive vaccination campaign against   yellow fever. 

Being a senior staff within the health care and social action unit of the Kinshasa Red Cross local committee, Tresor is in charge of supervising a health zone of seven vaccination points across the province. 

Since the vaccination campaign started, he has been visiting the vaccination points on a daily basis, providing his team with the necessary information and registration equipment.

“I am assigned as a supervisor to ensure volunteers teams are at the vaccination sites and effectively assisting those who are coming for vaccination. During the first three days of the campaign, Red Cross teams were deployed to the sites for orientation, security and registration duties. We provided our teams with registration forms which serve as the basis for our daily reports.

Some of the key information we gather during these first three days and which will later be used during social mobilization activities, is the number of people who have been vaccinated at each site. Having this information gives us a picture in terms of attendance,” said Tresor. This makes it easier to identify those who have not yet been vaccinated; people with whom the Red Cross can follow up.

From the vaccination sites, Red Cross teams will be more involved in social mobilization activities during which door-to-door visits and other community engagement sessions will be organized. This important stage will help identify and manage cases of refusal.

“We use communication techniques to improve community knowledge of the yellow fever epidemic, with emphasis on preventive measures to be adopted,” added Tresor.

With his invaluable experience as a social mobilizer during vaccination campaigns, Tresor has also been able to apply the same skills and knowledge in the voluntary blood donation initiative, developed by the Red Cross. As a peer recruiter, he engages with communities and sensitizes them on voluntary blood donation, adhering to the Red Cross Fundamental Principles and values, while promoting the same ethics through his voluntary service. 

“Within my community, people know they can rely on me and solicit my help when necessary. I wish to see more young people join the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for us all to witness a more significant commitment in the fight against epidemics and other humanitarian challenges our country is faced with. The desire to prolong this noble passion for humanitarian action should be seen in every youth who should, in return, contribute to make the slogan ‘One volunteer in each family’, become a reality.”