One of the fundamental pillars of the work of White Helmets is humanitarian volunteering, based upon cooperative participation.
White Helmets volunteers act in coordination with the government agencies responsible for humanitarian assistance at a municipal, provincial and federal level, as well as at the regional and international level together with the organizations directly involved in the performance of assistance tasks.
In 1998, the White Helmets Volunteer Corps was created. The only general requirements to be met by those wishing to be part of it are:
- Being of age.
- Having a vocation for cooperating in social and humanitarian tasks.
- Being in good mental and physical health.
- Having specific skills according to the nature of each mission.
The actions of volunteers are closely related to local experiences: local risk management is the other fundamental axis of the working strategy of White Helmets.
In this regard, some of the activities carried out by volunteers include response to situations of socionatural disaster, local social health actions and campaigns, support for environmental protection programmes, literacy activities, community management of water, development of productive projects, among others.
As from 2004, the work of White Helmets became more regionally-oriented. This led to the conclusion of a series of agreements and understandings that gave rise to the development of a Regional Network of Humanitarian Volunteering in several Latin American countries. This network was preceded by a similar project created in 1999 on the basis of a convention with the OAS
Currently, the Regional Network of Humanitarian Volunteering has 17 focal points in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
What does it mean to be a White Helmets volunteer?
White Helmets volunteers are persons committed to the values promoted by the organization in its actions: solidarity, cooperation, participation and humanitarianism.
They have inter-personal skills and capacities including organization and adaptation to multi-cultural environments and hard living conditions. They are part of civilian and heterogeneous teams, organized by White Helmets in accordance with the profiles required in each mission.
They have an active participation in the training programme for White Helmets volunteers and, once they are called to participate in a mission, they perform the tasks to which they are assigned voluntarily, in a spirit of altruism and solidarity, without receiving any payment in return.
What do White Helmets volunteers do?
They work in Argentina and abroad, in Disaster Risk Management activities, both with regard to rapid response to emergencies and in relation to readiness and prevention, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Organized in teams according to their skills, experiences and training, they are part of the different types of actions carried out by White Helmets. Participating does not entail any costs for volunteers: travel, living and insurance expenses are borne by the organization.
How to become a White Helmets volunteer?
Any person wishing to become a White Helmets volunteer must be at least 18 years of age, have all papers in order, participate in the training courses held by the organization and be willing to travel within 72 hours to any place where their aid is required.
In order to be part of the White Helmets Commission volunteer base, the following information must be provided: