Celebrating young volunteers at a camp for flood victims in Sudan

Published: 27 August 2013 17:40 CET

By Nelly Muluka, IFRC

Munzir Babiker, 12, and his older brother Mohammed, 13, have dedicated their school holidays to serving humanity. The siblings have been volunteering at one of the Sudanese Red Crescent camps, established following heavy rains and flash floods in early August that have affected at least nine states. 

“We moved to Halifaya in Khartoum North, from Saudi Arabia, three years ago and we attend school here. When we are not in school we assist our mother in her shop,” said Munzir.

“We accompanied our mother to visit a relative in Omdurman whose family had been affected by the flash floods. The impact of the floods on the homes and livelihoods of people was very touching. That was where we found Red Crescent volunteers assisting the affected families and we were really moved by what they were doing.”

“As soon as I saw the volunteers helping others, I knew that I wanted to volunteer,” adds Mohammed. “Munzir and I then asked our mother to give us some food to take to the people and to allow us to join the volunteers. Having been members of the Scouting Club in Saudi Arabia, it was easy for us to fit in. We knew we would simply use skills that we had already used before.”

The children have been working alongside the other volunteers ever since and are liked by everyone. Their message to all is that everyone should learn some basic first-aid skills so they too can assist in case of emergencies.

Mohammed says that when he is old enough and finished his education, he would like to set up a foundation so he can continue to assist vulnerable people during emergencies.

Haroun Osman, the oldest volunteer at the camp, is very proud of the children. “I have been a volunteer since 1991 and this is my second time to see children volunteering. I am proud of these children and would like to encourage others to take a page out of their book, as in the process of volunteering, they will acquire new skills that will assist them in life,” says Osman.