News A word from the Geneva Red Cross

Geneva Red Cross is mobilized to help the confined people

How do you keep the connection with the people who are confined to their homes? We have asked the Geneva Red Cross to share with you its actions during the COVID-19 crisis. Discover the testimonials of two volunteers and a beneficiary of the coronavirus emergency plan.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the Geneva Red Cross has mobilized and redeployed its coordination teams and volunteers to assist vulnerable people confined to their homes. Several hundred people have volunteered. Assisted by a team of 17 professional supervisors, they have run basic food errands, bought medicines, provided various services such as walking the dog or taking out the rubbish, and maintained a social contact through regular telephone calls.

Normally, it is the “Visits to the Elderly” service that connects lonely seniors seeking companionship with volunteers whom it trains and supervises. The exchanges within the pair encourage the development of the cognitive and physical capacities of the seniors, which enables them to live at home more serenely.

With the generalization of confinement, all visits have been suspended, further cutting off isolated people from the outside world. Volunteers already in contact with senior citizens, but also new volunteers, maintained the links through frequent phone calls. Some volunteers contacted their beneficiaries several times a week, even several times a day, to get news, check on their physical and moral health, or simply to chat for a while.

Testimonial from a beneficiary of the coronavirus emergency plan :

“I can’t go outside my house because I’m particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and on top of that I’m physically handicapped. Much of my happiness in life comes from cooking. I like to cook and eat well. The volunteer does much more than just do my errands, she allows me to continue to do something that I love and that keeps my spirits up and my joy of living. Not to mention the small conversations that make me feel good. My volunteer is exceptional, your work is exceptional. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. »

Testimonial of Paul, a volunteer at the Geneva Red Cross, after the first reunion with her beneficiary at the time of deconfinement:

Beneficiary of Paul, volunteer at the Geneva Red Cross

“The elderly person I visit regularly has overcome her pneumonia. We were able to hold our meeting in a contact tent: a good moment of exchange, even if she didn’t like this separation (transparent barrier). Otherwise, in the last few days, I called her two or three times a day, just to let her hear the blackbird, so that each time she could get out of her loneliness and isolation. »

Testimonial of Imen, volunteer at the Geneva Red Cross

Imen, volunteer of the Geneva Red Cross Emergency Plan, poster campaign conducted by the City of Geneva.

“As a first-year student at the University of Geneva, I took advantage of the flexibility of my schedule due to the online courses to volunteer for the Geneva Red Cross. I help elderly or at-risk people who are confined, for example by going shopping, taking out the garbage, walking the dogs and very importantly, I regularly talk to them on the phone! I am of Tunisian origin and came to Geneva to study economics and management. I live in the Cité Universitaire, far from my family. Both my parents continue to work a lot despite the current crisis, at the airport and as a doctor. They made me want to make myself useful too, by helping out as much as I could. I’m young, healthy and have time, so why not contribute to the relief of those who need it! »

Contingency Plan, statistics as of June 10, 2020 :

Registered volunteers: 1,532
Mobilizable volunteers: 883
Volunteers mobilized: 249
Beneficiaries: 317
Total amount of groceries: 184,422 fr.
Amount of aid to the beneficiaries of the Permanence d’accueil social :
74,966 fr.

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