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Thursday, 07 December 2017 13:17

Virtual Volunteer: Red Cross’ digital guidebook for OFWs

A digital guidebook for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)—this is how the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) sees its first-ever Virtual Volunteer web application.

By visiting virtualvolunteer.org, OFWs can easily access vital information, swift responses, and emergency trunklines of Philippine government’s 911 and PRC’s 143. Through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and International Business Machines, the provision of a simple means to cross communication barriers and global approach to access information into their hands are now easier and visible at their fingertips.

There are certain buttons to click for easy access of information: about, emergency hotlines, questions, health and safety, map, communicate, links, missing people for tracing, and contact.

The About section highlights the services offered by the PRC such as psychosocial support program, home and school visits, crisis intervention, restoring family links, ambulance service, and referral.

When one is caught in a web of false information and inneedof swift action, visit the Emergency phone numbers and contact the Philippine Red Cross complementing the government’s hotline.

OFWs can also find advice on how to protect themselves from traffickers, tips on safest ways to get an overseas job, basic steps to undergo when applying abroad, and among others through the Questions section.

The health and safetysection contains tips to keep a family safe. It includes safety, human trafficking tips, knowing your passport, four habits to cope in other country, first aid, and the like.

The Mapsection shows geolocation of nearest services to show users where to access everything from medical, basic support, legal, and food.

The Communication section contains a feature made to ease communication between people who speak different languages. It covers information on basic services such as: first aid, ambulance, hospital, food, shower, legal services, information and money services.

One can access information to help them locate family members if they have become separated by conflicts, disasters, or migration with the link of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)and by local national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, through the Missing peoplesection.

Accessible as a website, Virtual Volunteer offers information in multiple languages depending on what is most needed and applicable in each country.

Guided by its mandate and goal to provide timely, efficient, and responsive humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable, PRC expands its wide-array of services by providing important information and services accessible and available to OFWs.