The Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire’s (Bakwena) progress in helping to create a safer environment for North West communities was recently demonstrated through a certificate handover ceremony to the qualifying members of the Community Disaster Management Teams. This initiative is being carried out in a partnership between Bakwena and the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS), following a joint Memorandum of Understanding, which stated the parties intention to provide accredited First Aid courses to learners, teachers and community members, and to initiate, establish, train and maintain Community Disaster Response Teams.
The ceremony was held on 18 April 2013 at St Catherine’s Primary School in Bapong, North West and certificates were provided to the teams from Bapong, Majakaneng, Modderspruit, and Segwaelane.
Gerry Eldson, SARCS secretary general notes that this initiative has proved to be highly successful.
“The fact that so many of the participants are graduating from the programme shows that the teams are being properly trained, and that this initiative is meeting the needs of the North West communities in terms of improving their safety awareness and First Aid skills.
“We would also like to thank Bakwena for the highly productive and fruitful partnership they have offered us. Ultimately, this collaboration has proved invaluable in helping us to empower North West community members.”
The Community Disaster Management Teams have been trained to be better prepared for potential disasters and emergencies by teaching them to assess emergency situations, and better understand their own environment and the type of disasters that could occur.
They were also trained in Community-Based Health and FirstAid so they can better attend to basic health challenges relating to hygiene, nutrition, water and sanitation.
As part of the ceremony, the teams presented their assessments of three areas in their community and showed off some of their newly taught skills.
Bakwena Corridor Manager, Hennie van Tonder concludes that the handover ceremony is just the start of a long-term programme with the Community Disaster Management Teams.
“Bakwena is immensely proud of everything that the Community Disaster Management Teams have achieved, and the result is several community members now have crucial information they require to help protect themselves and others when faced with dangerous or medical emergencies.
“Moving forward, we are confident that this initiative will continue to be highly successful in creating prepared communities and safer environments for the benefit of the people in the North West.”