In 2019 the French government implemented a universal national service (SNU) scheme aimed at “opening up new horizons for young people [aged 15 to 17] in terms of regions, people, activities, and commitments” (Government website). This year the first SNU ‘cohesion programme’ in Reunion Island was held from 21st June to 1st July 2021. As part of the activities organised on the theme of ‘Defence, security and national resilience’, the French Red Cross was present to raise awareness of the risks related to natural and health hazards, and also carried out introductions to first aid.

Over the course of three days, French Red Cross volunteers conducted awareness raising for 137 young people by organising the following activities:

  • Paré Buzz: a quiz to test knowledge of natural hazard-related risks on Reunion
  • Inond’Action: immersive virtual reality that lets participants experience rising flood waters
  • Covid-19, kossassa?: a game to improve understanding of the COVID-19 epidemic, and the importance of protective measures to safeguard against the coronavirus
  • Introduction to first aid, learning life-saving techniques

At the end of the programme each young person was presented with an Introduction to First Aid diploma, and an Introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction certificate.