Guest Post by Joshua Nelson
While all of Humanity Road’s volunteers work hard to save lives, some of us have uniquely awesome humanitarian stories to share. In this monthly Volunteer Spotlight, you’ll hear about Humanity Road’s best!
Ghana is a country beset by poverty, internal turmoil, and displaced refugees. But local nurse Yakubu H.Yakubu isn’t content just to found and run a Citizens’ Emergency Response Team of direct-response volunteers, battling various local crises. No, he’s also been a Humanity Road online volunteer since 2011!
First, just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am Yakubu H.Yakubu, a Registered Nurse from Ghana. I live in Tamale, the northern region of Ghana.
I am the Founder and Executive Director for Community Emergency Response Team Ghana. We are a local NGO that trains community volunteers in first aid skills, CPR, search-and-rescue techniques, small fire suppression, and community public health education (like on cholera and other communicable diseases.) As a cross-cutting issue (with Humanity Road), we give free medical aid and treatment to disaster victims, and help with post-disaster management and medical rehabilitation.
How did you get in touch with Humanity Road? How long have you worked with HR?
I think I got in touch with Humanity Road around 2011. I was actually first introduced to Crisis Commons, then I think I met (HR) President Chris, introducing me to Humanity Road. I have been with them since. It’s an amazing experience; we can actually sit in the comfort of our homes and save lives and connect people with the help they need during emerging disasters. It’s been great all these years.
Can you tell us a story about an important HR event, disaster or otherwise, which you were involved with?
In Haiti, when the heart-breaking event (2010 earthquake) happened, HR continued to report emerging events. They connected most survivors with emergency technicians on the ground. Several days into the quake, they managed to reunite a baby with its family. It was great to be part of a community that would not stop reporting until all those who needed help got it.
Humanity Road volunteers are people with such BIG HEARTS. In fact, they possess the heart of the WORLD. It was no surprise that the White House recognized their contribution and invited volunteers to a visit.
How did you personally participate?
I took part in the reportage, through tweets and other social media posts.
How does your work with Humanity Road combine with your work with the Ghana CERT?
It’s been pretty great. While HR responds to disaster digitally, CERT-GHANA responds to disasters at the scene (in local Ghanaian communities.) Of course, in the world of today, we need social media to propagate our work and to galvanize support. With Humanity Road, I have gained experience in using social media tools to educate my community, particularly about public health. I learnt a lot from HR about how to organize my tweets and work-related social media. A lot more people were interested in supporting our (CERT) course after having seen our tweet or Facebook post.
Humanity Road has always been of help. They donated a laptop and CERT pins for our office use. Humanity Road has offered self-directed leadership and mentorship training for volunteers. This has helped me a lot.
Is there anything else you’d like to add, something that you’d really like to say about your work with HR, that we haven’t covered yet?
I think it’s been great working with Humanity Road. It’s good being around Big Hearts. I don’t regret knowing this organization. I appreciate their support for my organization for donating a laptop and CERT pins for my volunteers.
What would you say to encourage anyone who’s thinking about volunteering for Humanity Road?
If you are thinking of volunteering in areas like disaster response, don’t hesitate to join! Humanity Road is a family where you are listened to when you need help. It’s a place where your effort is recognized. It’s good to volunteer for Humanity Road.
Well then, unless you’ve got anything more to add, I think that about wraps it up.
I am grateful for this time with you! Thank you!!! Azonto for you!!!
Thank you for taking the time out of your certainly-busy schedule to have this interview. Goodbye, and best wishes!
Now that’s a multi-tasker! Mr. Yakubu knows what it’s like to respond to disasters firsthand with his CERT, while Humanity Road’s volunteers support them online. He serves both his country and the world (and ethnic dance culture!)
Until next time, and our next volunteer story!
To volunteer for Humanity Road, visit our online volunteer center! Don’t have time to volunteer? Become a supporter by making a donation! If you want to join a CERT effort closer to home, and help first responders in your community, contact your local CERT today!
Joshua Nelson is a freelance copywriter from Virginia, writing pro-bono for Humanity Road. Literary champion of JUSTICE! (and stuff) by day, creative nerd by night. You can learn more about Joshua by visiting his website.