Volunteers Video story

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

Jakia Sultana remembers the time she passed out during the school’s assembly. “It sometimes happens that students faint during the assembly – I myself fainted once,” she says. “There was confusion and no one knew what to do or not to do.”

But now, thanks to first-aid traning offered by Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) volunteers, there are 53 students who know exactly what to do when someone faints, or gets hurt on the playground at the Saleha Shah Mohammad High School in Bangladesh’s Rajshahi district.

It’s normal that in a school of about 350 students, accidents will happen. That’s why the BDRCS volunteers came to raise awareness about the importance of learning first aid. “Our teachers told us that Bangladesh Red Crescent wanted to train us,” Jakia explains. “Many of us were intrigued, especially since none of us knew what first aid was or how it worked.”

Ready to save lives

After the training, Jakia explains that there is much more awareness about the importance of first aid around the school. Having students who know the basics and can help in case of an emergency is crucial – not just for this high school, but for all schools around the district, Jakia reflects.

Even though the training conducted by BDRCS volunteers was only three days long, Jakia feels confident that all the participants are able to handle complex situations. She also thinks that these skills can be easily passed on to other students, and even to their own family members.

Jakia does not take her new role as a first-aider lightly. “I learned that the aims of a first aider are three: first, saving lives; secondly, preventing the situation you are handling from becoming worse; and lastly, finding a way to improve the person’s condition,” she adds.

Even if these students never intend to take on the role of doctors, they can still provide primary care and help someone in need. “I was very attentive during the trainings and feel confident I can teach this to other people,” she says. “I’m happy to treat others as a first aider.”


This story was produced and drafted by Sadia Saba Orchi
– a creative and highly engaged storyteller from Bangladesh Red Crescent.


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.”

Discover more stories

Get stories worth sharing delivered to your inbox

Want to stay up to date?

This might interest you...

Between hope and desperation

Families of people who have gone missing bear a singular psychological and emotional burden.

Check it out