Volunteering – My Lifelong Aspiration

“I have been at the Georgian Red Cross for more than 10 years. This organization helps me to engage actively in volunteering and this is really a big privilege.

Of course, the main motivation for being on the Red Cross team is its humanitarian mission, which gives us the opportunity for self-development while at the same time being of use for the community”.

Mariam Nikolashvili
Head of the Department for Youth and Volunteering
Georgia Red Cross Society

There is no “ex-volunteer” – once you get involved in this activity, it becomes your lifelong aspiration. I started volunteering at the Red Cross 10 years ago and to this day this is the spirit that drives me.

Georgia Red Cross Society has been working in emergency mode since the day the pandemic was announced. In the first few days we mobilized an unprecedented number of spontaneous volunteers. It is gratifying that in a critical situation many of our fellow citizens expressed their desire to volunteer and showed readiness to be fully involved in the Red Cross activities. It was our duty to share the knowledge and skills needed for volunteering and to prepare people properly to become helpers and frontliners. It was our responsibility and it required hard work.

In addition, we have 39 branches across the country and all of them are staffed by our active volunteers. Their training and preparedness was our primary task before we sent them to work in the field.

In parallel, we created the platform help.redcross.ge, where spontaneous volunteers could register online and get access to the COVID Pandemic Response Training Module. After successful completion of the Training Module they were automatically involved in volunteering.

Subsequently, Georgia Red Cross Society supported more than 10,000 volunteers across the country in their fight against the pandemic, which, I would say, is an impressive result.

Through joint efforts we have carried out many useful activities that have made a difference. I am proud that we were one of the first in the country to launch an information campaign about COVID-19. We worked on the front line by managing the queues and overseeing the vaccination process. With our help a charity campaign was launched in supermarkets. As a result thousands of beneficiaries regularly received food and hygiene products.

It is definitely worth noting that the Georgia Red Cross hotline worked at full capacity – the launch of the psycho-social assistance hotline was a job well done during the pandemic and it helped hundreds of people in need on a daily basis.

From today’s perspective, I can say that our team met the pandemic crisis effectively, and during this time, we were able to reach out to people who needed immediate support. We worked literary 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure a quick and effective response. I admit, it was not easy, but the smiles and gratitude of our beneficiaries was the greatest reward and motivation for us to keep working in the same positive spirit.

Staying optimistic is the main thing I recommend to everybody who want to become a volunteer.
Empathy is another thing you need as a volunteer.
And last, but not least: I believe that only humanity will save the world!