CAR Response Blog

Humanitarian Communications

IOM Supports First Aid Training Course in Bangui, CAR

A group of 30 students has graduated from a First Aid training course supported by IOM’s Central African Republic (CAR) Community Stabilization project. The graduation ceremony took place at the CAR Red Cross HQ in Bangui.

The ten-day training course, implemented by the Red Cross of CAR, covered basic first aid such as performing CPR, treating minor wounds, and stabilizing a patient until medical attention arrives.

The training cohort included volunteers nominated by 29 Chef de Quartiers (neighbourhood leaders) in the 3rd District of Bangui. Fifteen women and fifteen men completed the training and are now empowered to help fellow community members in need.

Working in Bangui’s 3rd District, the trained responders will provide first aid to community members and will facilitate referrals to a health center recently rehabilitated by IOM.

The 3rd District is among the areas heavily affected by the 2013 coup d’état and subsequent violence in CAR. One of the main objectives of the Community Stabilization project is to foster a greater sense of belonging and solidarity among the different community members.

Esther is a 38-year-old, single mother from the Kokoro 4 neighbourhood in the 3rd District. Completing the First Aid course gave her a greater sense of responsibility within her community. “With the certificate, I can go back and support my community,” she said, noting that she wants to continue with more advanced training.

Her favorite part of the course was learning how to assist those who have respiratory problems or wounds. Since the course’s completion, Esther has already used her First Aid training to help others. “There was a girl who was in shock because her father died. Other community members didn’t know how to help her and were throwing water on her. I calmed her by putting her in the lateral position,” Esther said.

After having experienced the impact of the widespread violence in the 3rd district, and having been helpless in the face of numerous injuries incurred by people around him, Boniface was motivated to participate in the First Aid course after being nominated. The 32-year-old from the Camerounais Douala neighbourhood has used his training countless times.

“There are a lot of motorcycle accidents around here and I can help the injured while we are waiting for the transport to the hospital,” said Boniface.

At the ceremony, the Mayor of the 3rd District and the Director of the Red Cross encouraged the graduates to use their training for the benefit of their communities, emphasizing that their participation in the First Aid course was both an honour and a responsibility.   

IOM’s Community Stabilization Project, funded by the European Union, aims at contributing to the stability and early recovery of communities heavily affected by the widespread violence since December 2013. The three main components of the project include cash-for-work, infrastructure rehabilitation, and social cohesion projects.

By engaging community members and revitalizing social spaces and infrastructure, the social cohesion projects endeavour to strengthen dialogue and solidarity within mixed communities.

IOM’s Community Stabilization Project has supported the rehabilitation of more than 13 infrastructure projects, including the rehabilitation of schools, medical facilities, social centres and other public infrastructure.

More than 13,000 people, including 41 per cent women, have participated in cash for work activities, cleaning canals, roads and schools. In addition, 141,000 community members have participated in socialization campaign activities, including conferences and debates on topics of community integration, recreational activities, sports events and concerts.

The First Aid training cycle will continue today (19/5) with 30 more participants of Bangui’s 5th district.

The Community Stabilization project will run until August 2015 and IOM is urgently appealing for additional funds in order to maintain its momentum in the stabilization process.

For further information, please contact Anne Schaefer at IOM CAR, Tel: +236721 87635, Email: aschaefer@iom.int