Tonight, Jewish Disaster Response organisation Nechama, will be running a three hour training course for all of our volunteers on how to safely and effectively manage teams in the field. As our volunteer base continues to grow those volunteers who chose to stay longer can gain new skills and mentor the new recruits, ensuring that quality work continues here on Project Minot. One the most important aspects, to me, of All Hands, is their tradition of providing opportunities for unskilled and inexperienced volunteers. It is also one of the more controversial. I have spoken before of the dangers of unaffiliated volunteers spontaneously descending on a disaster zone. While intentions are (usually) benevolent, people unfamiliar with disaster response and the affected area, may inadvertently be a drain on already stretched supply lines and may find it difficult to access opportunities to help.
Here on Project Minot we are providing a drop in desk for people to volunteer spontaneously and are working to coordinate this effort to ensure that volunteers can get involved with meaningful work and not be a burden on the community they want to help. Even more exciting is that through collaborations like the one this evening with Nechama, our volunteers will head out from this project with new skills and experiences, helping them to continue to affect disaster-impacted communities in the future in bigger and better ways. Happy days. Oh, and the icing on the cake is literally icing on cakes! In order to compensate people for the extra they’ll be putting in today Amelia will be returning to base laden down with delicious treats, including my new-found favourite; anything with cream cheese frosting. English people take note, sounds weird, tastes amazing.