When teamwork makes the dream work

Topics: Saskatchewan
Moses Chibaya | September 21, 2023

Godwin Odupe had questions and worries swirling around in his head when told he was going to be deployed by the Canadian Red Cross to support a disaster response. 

“At first, I was nervous. This was my first time,” said Godwin.

Coming just a couple months after he joined the Canadian Red Cross as an Emergency Response volunteer in March of this year, Godwin was not sure if he was ready to take on the challenge of helping people during their time of need.

However, his fears soon vanished upon arrival in Lloydminster, where he was gone to support First Nation community members who had been evacuated due to wildfires. He found everyone to be friendly and welcoming.

Godwin vividly remembers being greeted by the warm, empathetic smile of Red Cross Emergency Management coordinator Lisa Poulsen. The immediate friendships he made with everyone wearing a Canadian Red Cross vest was amazing and before he knew it, he was already into action. 

“There was a sense of being in the right place.” 

He was encouraged to ask questions or for help, whenever needed. He appreciated working with people who were ready to guide him on how to help the evacuated community members the Red Cross was supporting.  
“I met a lot of people who were ready to help and train me on several things, (including on) what to do and what not to do.” 

Godwin learned a number of things while supporting the response, including how to register evacuated community and how to process cash cards to ensure people could get the support they needed.

“I did not feel under pressure because we were working as a team. People are always ready to work and assist and they are experienced to handle different situations.”

Two other volunteers helping with the response also found the team to be very supportive and helpful.

“You could approach anyone, and they were willing to answer your questions,” said Yetunde Ogunbolude- Adegbenro, another volunteer who provided support in Lloydminster.   

Both volunteers hailed the Red Cross team for the collaborations and teamwork that they displayed in helping.

To join the Canadian Red Cross and be a part of the team, go to redcross.ca/volunteer to learn more.   
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