Last spring the Canadian Red Cross welcomed three communications delegates from other Red Cross societies. Degsew Amanu from Ethiopia Red Cross, Marial Mayom Riak from South Sudan Red Cross, and Carlos Romero from Honduras Red Cross, joined staff and volunteers from across Canada to participate in an Emergency Response Unit (ERU) training and learn valuable skills that they could take home with them.

So, how did these communicators find the training? Was it useful? We caught up with Degsew and Marial recently to find out.
Degsew Amanu, Ethiopia Red Cross, Marial Mayom Riak, South Sudan Red Cross, and Carlos Romero, Honduras Red Cross

Degsew Amanu from Ethiopia Red Cross, Carlos Romero from Honduras Red Cross and Marial Mayom Riak from South Sudan Red Cross during a training in Canada last spring.

Q: What part of the experience did you find the most informative and useful?
Degsew Amanu: Being a part of the ERU training and learning about emergency communications. I found it very practical and informative.
Marial Mayom: The interviewing that took place during the ERU training was especially helpful and useful to me as a spokesperson for the South Sudan Red Cross.

Q: What new skills did you gain through this experience?
Degsew Amanu: I have gained a number of new and valuable skills including how to manage communications in an emergency setting and how to deal with stakeholders during a disaster. 
Marial Mayom: The training taught me the importance of social media monitoring and how to engage our audiences through different social platforms.

Q: How have you used these skills back in Ethiopia?
Degsew Amanu: Since being home I have organized trainings for Ethiopian Red Cross staff and volunteers, and apply other skills in my day-to-day communications work.

Q: How have you used these skills back in South Sudan?
Marial Mayom: Thanks to the skills I took home from Canada I have drafted new social media guidelines for the South Sudan Red Cross and we are currently comparing our reach from the new social strategies to those prior to my training.

Q: How do you feel that your National Society benefited from the training you received in Canada?
Degsew Amanu: I am giving emergency communication training to our Branch Disaster Response Team members. So far, 60 people have gone through the training. As well, I am better equipped to lead communication activities during emergencies, like the recent conflict and drought. As a result of the training, our media presence has been improving.
Marial Mayom: By sharing experiences with other Red Cross national societies, it allows us to adopt better practices. This visit allowed me to help the South Sudan Red Cross, as a newer national society, develop.

This initiative is made possible with the financial support of the Government of Canada.