The Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) has embarked on a month high profile training course in Maun which started last week Monday 14 June 2010, to empower branch leaders on matters of governance and development of volunteers.
Mabel Rammekwa, the Secretary General of the BRCS, said that course is intended to provide branch leaders and volunteers with the skills and tools to be able to tackle issues and challenges relating to effective management of both human and capital resources in the custody of the society.
“In order to highlight the significance of the training the Human Resources and Organizational Development (HR &OD) Manager of the Zimbabwean Red Cross, Netsai Chizema, and Organizational Development (OD) Coordinator of the Namibian Red Cross, Rodney Cloete, are here with us to facilitate the training,” said Rammekwa.
The initiative was apparently conceived after it was observed by a forum of Secretary Generals of the 10 member countries of the Southern African Partnership of Red Cross Societies (SAPRECS) held in Namibia early January this year.
Central to the objects of the forum was consideration of the effectiveness of the national societies in delivering on their mandate and assessment of their capacities to keep up to the dictates of their humanitarian work.
“A resolution was then made to the effect that there was need for concerted effort at strengthening the operational and organizational development capacities of the national societies if efficiency and effectiveness were to be assured,” explained Rammekwa.
Thus, the ever energetic CEO of Botswana’s uncontested humanitarian and disaster management Champion mentioned that the leadership training course being run in Maun was within the context of SAPRECS’ strategies being used to increase coverage, effectiveness and efficiency at the community levels.
What this means is that in the event of disaster striking at any particular locality or part of the country, rather than mobilizing a host of volunteers from across the country, it should always be easier for the communities to rise promptly and cost effectively to the occasion since they would have been equipped with all the requisite tools.
Rammekwa posited that the idea was to ensure that communities are able to help their own people without fear of compromising the quality of service offered by the BRCS.
“When that happens, then we would have achieved one of our major goals of ensuring self sustenance and community resilience, whereupon communities will then be able to deal with humanitarian issues at their localities with minimal involvement of the national structures except for relevant material support,” Rammekwa emphasized.
Commenting on the basis of their presence at the Maun workshop, the Namibian O&D Coordinator, Cloete said, “Although the BRCS could still have been able to conduct their own training given the wonderful job they have already achieved, it has been necessary that we come here because it is an important international practice of the Red Cross to work in unity so that we learn from each other.”
For her part, Chizema, the ZRC HR&OD Manager expressed satisfaction at the level of progress achieved in the first batch of trainees.
“…and am certainly looking forward to a point where the BRCS and consequently the Southern African Red Cross Societies partnership would emerge the best in the African continent, in terms of increased spirit of voluntarism, resource mobilization and self reliance,” concluded Chizema.
It is intended that by the end of July, next month all the BRCS regional division and branch leaders from across the whole country should have been able to graduate from the ongoing Maun-based training sessions.