Migration Video story

A smooth landing

For volunteers like Sami Rahikainen, building trust with migrants who are coming to a new place in the search of a brand new life is crucial. This is his story.

“We are usually the first people they meet when they come to our country,” says Sami Rahikainen, who works with other Finnish Red Cross volunteers that welcome people arriving in Finland as part of country’s resettlement programme. “We try to give people as smooth an arrival as possible.”

“Many have been travelling a long time, even two to three days,” he says, standing in arrivals gate area of Helsinki International Airport, as airplanes taxi to their gates in the background. The people he greets may have started their journey to safety long before they boarded the airplanes, however. Some may have survived conflict or lived in a refugee camps for a long time, while other people may have experienced trauma or have health issues.

“So we try to offer them support and create trust by offering the warmest welcome we can — with our actions, being present and creating a safe environment.”

In this 5-minute video, filmed by Sami using his own smart phone, he offers some tips his team has learned. Create a safe and calm atmosphere, think ahead and provide information that helps them prepare for what happens next. “Sometimes those arriving are too tired or even afraid to ask questions,” he says. “So offering information is one part of creating trust.”


What happens when machines can decide who to kill?

It’s the stuff of science fiction: machines that make decisions about who and when to kill. Referred to as “autonomous weapons”, they’re already in use to some degree. But as more sophisticated systems are being developed we wanted to an expert in the field about whether such systems comply with international humanitarian law and what it means for humanity to give machines the power over human life and death.

‘Wildfire diaries’ and radical change in communications

In this episode, we talk with humanitarian communicator Kathy Mueller who produced our first magazine podcast series, The Wildfire Diaries, about massive wildfires in Northern Canada in 2017. We talk about that series, her many international missions, and the big changes in humanitarian communications since she began with the Canadian Red Cross almost 20 years ago.

The power of storytelling

In this episode, we talk about the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. “Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of human communication,” says our guest Prodip, a volunteer and multi-media storyteller for the Bangladesh Red Crescent. “It inspires us to be a hero of our own community.” We also speak with one such community hero, Dalal al-Taji, a longtime volunteer and advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities in emergencies response. “In disasters. persons with disabilities sometimes get forgotten.”

This post is also available in:

Discover more stories

Get stories worth sharing delivered to your inbox

Want to stay up to date?

This might interest you...

Training to save our classmates’ lives

Some students choose sports, others prefer theatre. But this group of teens preferred to train in first aid to help anyone who might need it at school

Check it out