JOIN members at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic
With the spread of the Omicron variant, the pandemic remains the focus of our members, who continue to tirelessly work to help all those affected in their respective countries. In Austria, training sessions were held to prepare vaccination managers for the increasing organisational requirements in the vaccination facilities. Our English member expanded its team of vaccination volunteers for the booster jabs, and Johanniter Germany extended its amount and repertoire of testing for the virus. JOIN members work at the forefront of the pandemic in all places possible to help the population. Read more about the support of our members here.
Weihnachtstrucker sent record number of parcels in 2021
The annual Weihnachtstrucker action of our Austrian and German members has brought 63,837 parcels to people in need in Southeastern Europe. The parcels were collected by Johanniter, and some were added via dedicated donations. This was made possible by the option to ‘pack parcels virtually’ even after the end of the collection period in December. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the parcels were sent by a forwarding agency and distributed by Johanniter's local partner organisations. The new record number of parcels reached disadvantaged families, schools and kindergarten, people with disabilities, older people's homes and children's homes.
Updates on the JOIN website
Given the wide variety of our members' activities, we updated our website to represent the broad range of areas. Our page on members' activity now includes an overview of the various member actions regarding COVID-19 support, first aid and training, ambulance services, patient transport, hospitals, youth work and elderly care, kindergarten, service for people with disabilities and people in need. Next to detailed information on the crucial international humanitarian aid, you can also find out about our member's engagement in research and innovation here.
News from the members
England: Countess of Wessex praises vaccination volunteers
On 20th January, the Countess of Wessex, Grand President of health and first aid charity St John Ambulance and a care volunteer with the organisation, has praised the ongoing efforts of volunteers during a shift supporting the NHS vaccination programme. The Countess spent the morning of her birthday at a vaccination centre in Surrey with volunteers from St John and other organisations who were administering COVID-19 vaccinations. Like many of St John's existing and long-standing volunteers, Her Royal Highness has previously completed training to become a care volunteer in support of the NHS vaccination programme and undertook a number of shifts last year. Read more here.
Germany: Johanniter provide support after earthquake in Afghanistan
On 17th January, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake damaged or destroyed
thousands of homes in Badghis province in western Afghanistan. 27 people
died and hundreds were injured. With people having sought refuge in
makeshift shelters or tents, there is a risk of life-threatening colds.
Johanniter has been working in Badghis for a year and, together with its
partner Medical Management and Research Courses Afghanistan (MMRCA),
provides medical care to 52,000 people. Immediately after the
earthquake, a mobile medical team from MMRCA travelled to the severely
affected district of Qadis to provide emergency medical aid and take
some seriously injured people to nearby hospitals. Read more (in German) here.
Germany: Johanniter use new rapid test method equivalent to PCR test
Our German member in Munich is expanding its range of COVID-19 tests to
include rapid nucleic acid tests, which are comparable to PCR tests but
provide a result after only 15 to 20 minutes. The new
rapid tests are especially suitable for those who do not want or cannot
wait a long time for a laboratory result of a classic PCR test. The new tests use nucleic acid amplification technology. After taking a
sample through a throat or nasal swab, Johanniter volunteers immediately
evaluate the sample on site using a molecular diagnostic test system.
Read more (in German) here.
News from Europe
International Day of Education
On 24th January, we celebrated the fourth International Day of
Education under the theme 'Changing Course, Transforming Education'. In
its recent global Futures of Education report,
UNESCO stressed that transforming the future requires an urgent
rebalancing of relationships with each other, with nature, as well as
with technology that is used daily. Today, 258 million children and
youth still do not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents
cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan
Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children
and youth refugees are out of school. Johanniter International Assistance
is working to increase access to safe, quality primary and secondary
education for children that are out of school due to the displacement
and also educates on the health and WASH sectors, disaster preparedness
and provides psychosocial support.