By Martin Muleya.

Mutare, Zimbabwe (News of The South) – Sungura maestro and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society humanitarian ambassador Alick Macheso has urged fellow musician in the arts and entertainment industry to also undergo first aid training sessions offered by the Red Cross as they will be imparted with relevant skills on how to deal with emergencies as they arise.

In an interview with News of The South during the graduation of more than 300 teachers from Mutare district, the ‘Gungwa’ hit maker said apart from entertaining fans with music, it was time that fellow musicians in the industry also take the lead in undergoing First Aid training sessions for their own benefit and their band members as well.

The musician who arrived at Elise Gledhill High School in a silver Discovery 3 vehicle cladded in red T-shirt inscribed Red Cross and a cap, reiterated that he wished if the training programmes would be extended to housewives as well.

“Often times loss of lives during emergencies, accidents or disasters is not primarily due to the gravity off the mishap but because no one was available to provide basic First Aid.

“These trainings are thus a deliberate effort aimed at minimizing risk. I am what I am today because of the First Aid training I underwent at Red Cross. It is my wish as well that my band members will also embrace this training even fellow musicians in the music industry as well.

“I am pained in most occasions when I visit accidents scenes witnessing people taking pictures of the injured people instead of offering First Aid help,” said Macheso.

Zimbabwe Red Cross secretary general Maxwell Phiri weighed in saying that his organization’s mission is to save lives and alleviate human suffering wherever it is found and however it is caused.

He said the training of teachers and students in Disaster Risk Reduction First Aid training will help inculcate humanitarian values on young people.

“Any institution with a dream for longevity must have a sound junior policy and it is our hope that the junior Red Cross clubs will help inculcate humanitarian values in our young people so that they grow to be responsible citizens who spare a thought for the less privileged.

“In the same vein we welcome the rolling out of the First Aid training programme for teachers which is central to the creation of a safe learning environment in our schools.

“First Aid is not an abstract thing but a relevant skill which is important in saving lives during emergencies.

“The ZRCS will continue designing other relevant programmes that are tailor-made for the schools environment both for safety and promotion of the Red Cross humanitarian mission,” weighed in Phiri.

Manicaland Provincial Education Director Edward Shumba who was represented by the Provincial Administrator Edgar Seenza reiterated that the nation’s success required innovative and community based solutions to build strong and resilient communities that are able to deal with obtaining humanitarian challenges.

“While the gap between humanitarian needs and humanitarian funding is both historic and growing, it is our firm belief that strengthening local and national humanitarian capacity of the Red Cross will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance.

“I am told that the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society developed this First Aid training programme with a view to contribute to the overall health and emergency response aspirations of our nation.

” A lot happens in any environment with many dangers looming and First Aid skills are vital. It is my hope that the ZRCS will continue spearheading such trainings coupled with the Junior First Aid for students.

“I would like to encourage all district education authorities as well as school heads in Manicaland province to capitalize on this unique offer from the ZRCS and make sure that at least two teachers at every school across the province are trained in first aid as this saves lives,” Shumba said.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society was established in 1981 through an Act of Parliament as an auxiliary to the Government of Zimbabwe’s humanitarian interventions.

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