The first stop for ‘Timoun’s Caravan’ took place on Sunday 19th July at Plaine des Palmistes, in the east of Reunion Island. It was a day filled with emotions for the ‘Timoun’s Caravan’ team, who were able to meet the public and raise awareness in children and adults about first aid and disaster risks preparedness.
After an early start, and in the morning chill typical of Reunion’s eastern highlands in July, twenty-five ‘Timoun’s Caravan’ volunteers were busy as soon as they arrived at Plaine-des Palmiste’s market square setting up their booths, ready to welcome passers-by, visitors, and locals who were interested in receiving training and discovering the activities of the French Red Cross in Reunion.
The festivities began at 9:30am under the watchful eye of Colonel Paris, Regional Chief of Staff (Réunion Island Prefecture) and the town’s Mayor, who was delighted to welcome the Red Cross teams in his municipality. The press also braved the cool morning air and came out in numbers to cover the launch of ‘Timoun’s Caravan’.
Throughout the morning, passers-by young and old were able to learn about first-aid and reducing disaster risks by visiting the three training booths.
Friendly and approachable volunteers were happy to be in contact with the public, sharing their expertise in a simple and fun way.
On the Paré pas Paré (‘Ready or Not?’) stand, fun and educational activities allowed children to learn or refresh their memory about the 7 natural hazards present in Reunion (cyclones, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, floods and the volcano) as well as the safety precautions to be followed in the event of a disaster.
The Introduction to Risk Reduction stand raised public awareness of the need to prepare for disaster risks in order to deal better with the consequences. Whether it be reminding visitors about first response or discovering the ‘Catakit’ (a unique survival kit designed by the French Red Cross), this introduction covers the three phases of a disaster: preparation, immediate response while waiting for the emergency services, and return to normality.
The booth giving introductions to cardiac massage and defibrillator use (Notify, Massage, Defibrillate) also allowed the public to learn about simple but vital actions that can be learnt easily, allowing everybody to save a loved one’s life until help arrives. Heart massage and defibrillator use are taught on this stand.
As well as training, participants were also able to talk with French Red Cross volunteers and learn about the organisation’s actions in Reunion and neighbouring countries
Many people were interested and visited the various booths. In fact, over 65 people benefited from introduction sessions and participated in the Caravan’s activities.
The next stop for Timoun’s Caravan was on Wednesday 22nd July from 10am to 5pm at the Colosse park in Saint-André.
26th July: Sainte-Suzanne, Le Bocage – 10am to 5pm
29th July: Sainte-Marie, Duparc shopping centre – 10am to 5pm
1st and 2nd August: Saint-Denis, Le Barachois – Saturday 1st August from 6pm to 10:30pm (Night Market) and Sunday 2nd August from 10am to 5pm
7th August: Saint-Paul, Quai Gilbert – 9am to 5pm
8th and 9th August: Saint-Gilles-les-bains, Ermitage beach – 10am to 5pm
16th August: Saint-Pierre, Les jardins de la plage (beach gardens) – 10am to 5pm
Timoun and his caravan team look forward to seeing you at one of these stops!