SmartStart students receive Red Cross Rescuer Award

Topics: British Columbia and Yukon, Migrant and Refugee Services
May 29, 2013

SmartStart students receive Red Cross Rescuer Award

The Canadian Red Cross is an active non-profit organization that helps people who have been affected by emergencies and disasters. By understanding the very real human dilemmas that arise during these and other kinds of tribulations, the Canadian Red Cross is better able to address the needs of vulnerable communities.

For those who are new to the country and have migrated or been displaced from their native lands, the stress of being in an unfamiliar environment can be overwhelming.

With migrant and refugee services, like the regional program SmartStart, the Canadian Red Cross works to improve the experiences of people who may have been affected by armed conflict, civil unrest, family separations or other incidents in their homelands. When emergencies strike in Canada, the resources provided by SmartStart in British Columbia and Manitoba offer an essential layer of support - something that students Penny (Jong Ah) Moon and Golnar Khajavi recently discovered.

Responding to emergencies

Penny and Golnar are both ESL students at Vancouver Community College, and have taken SmartStart: Community Access to First Aid, a course offered by the Canadian Red Cross. On the same day that they took the class, they rescued a female friend who started coughing and choking.

As their friend, Ava, began to throw up and turn red in the face, Golnar gave her an abdominal thrust. Then Penny did as well.

"We felt lucky that we had taken the training and that we had the chance to help somebody because of it," said Penny.

In honor of their efforts to save their friend's life, Penny and Golnar received a Red Cross First Aid & Water Safety Services Rescuer Award, which recognizes people who take extra steps to help someone in need and prevent further injury or threat to their livelihood.

"The more we learn about these things the more we will be able to help people in our new community," added Penny. "My English is not so good, but this is a human thing and people are the same everywhere."

How you can help

For people in need, all it takes is one moment to make all the difference in the world. As a humanitarian organization committed to improving the lives of those impacted by hardship, the Canadian Red Cross strives to provide assistance where it is most needed. These resources help people overcome challenges and gain vital skills.

With the generous help of Canadians like you, the Canadian Red Cross is able to offer relief during a wide variety of incidents around the country and the world.

A contribution today can help you show your support for individuals affected by adversity. To donate, please visit us online or contact your local office.