The BVI Red Cross is considerably augmenting its operations ahead of the looming Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1.
The non-profit organisation is hiring four additional staff; thanks to funding it will be receiving from the United Kingdom for the next two-and-a-half years.
The organisation is also aggressively upscaling its community response programme and stocking up solar-powered lights, among other things.
During a recent interview with BVI News, Director of the BVI Red Cross Helen Frett explained the reason for heightening its operations.
“With the climate change situation, the forecast is that the disasters are going to get more and more severe so we want to make sure that we are prepared,” she said.
“We want to build capacity within our volunteers and staff and we also need to build resilience in the community. So, that is going to take funds.”
New paid positions
According to Frett, the positions of Finance Manager, Disaster Management Officer, Programme Manager, and a Volunteer Support Coordinator are critical.
“We had to take on additional staff. Our operations are being scaled up. Before, we did routine stuff but now we have to be more prepared to deal with disasters,” she reasoned.
“We need a finance person to make sure that everything is in place, and to ensure we have proper systems in place. Having someone dedicated to managing the disaster response is critical because we cannot just depend on volunteers. It is too crucial at this time,” Frett explained.
“Because we are expecting a lot more volunteers to be involved, we need somebody to be coordinating volunteer activities.”
“The programme manager will manage all of our other programmes,” she added.
Some Red Cross programmes include the annual men’s health fair, offering training in first aid, as well as operating a thrift shop.
Before now, the non-profit organisation was being funded through fundraising activities and grants from the British Red Cross and the Government of the Virgin Islands.
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