Humanity, impartiality, unity, and universality are among the seven fundamental principles of the International Red Cross Movement discussed by Red Cross Trainer Christine Stetler during her address at the interfaith chapel service on Wednesday. The chapel service precedes two days of disaster response training on Mass Care and Shelter Operations scheduled for November 22 and December 6 at UTS.
Chaplain Eric Sylte opened the service with readings on compassion and charity from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Unificationist traditions. Mrs. Stetler then related the work of the Red Cross to the theme of compassion, sharing stories of Red Cross volunteers responding to both natural and man made disasters locally and throughout the world.
Following the service, Mrs. Stetler met with twelve of the fourteen students who will participate in the disaster response training, which is the first step towards certification by the American Red Cross. Some students, like Abdel Moumin Ahmed from the Sudan, had previous experience working with the Red Cross in responding to floods and is seeking more practical skills. Others, like Young Ju Seo from South Korea, had no prior experience with the Red Cross. Mr. Seo is interested in learning from the Red Cross how to organize and manage volunteers.
Disaster Chaplaincy is a growing field for specialized ministry, and students can prepare to enter that field at UTS. The Red Cross recognizes spiritual care as an important part of disaster response, and UTS is planning to offer more advanced training in this area through trainers like the Red Cross Spiritual Care Response Team and Disaster Chaplaincy Services, located in New York City. UTS is also home to the International Relief and Friendship Foundation, a disaster response agency with a global reach, which provides Field Education opportunities for UTS students.