A special thanks to all volunteers in the fight against coronavirus
Millions of people around the world are now dealing with the crisis caused by Covid-19. Many are working around the clock to respond to the situation and keep society running, and in Norway, the volunteers of the Norwegian People’s Aid are among the many, making a crucial contribution by assisting health services and other critical services.
Everyday life has been turned on its head, and in Norway, the upcoming Easter holiday will be one without many of the most commonly celebrated traditions. More than anything, Easter is the outdoor holiday in Norway – people usually flock to the mountains and their cabins. This year, the Easter holiday will be different – many will be concerned about family or friends who have become sick, others will be busy with home schooling and job applications, and some will spend their time off setting up field hospitals and delivering food and medicine.
Our greatest volunteer effort
Since Covid-19 sent Norway into a crisis, many have opened their eyes to the importance of certain professions in a time of emergency, and to how crucial volunteer efforts are for the national and local emergency response. Society has called for help, and a lot of people have answered.
Norway’s emergency readiness has always relied on volunteerism – it can be called our greatest common volunteer effort. Today, this has become more important than ever. Through the Norwegian People’s Aid (Norsk Folkehjelp), volunteers have worked over 1,000 hours assisting health services and local authorities in response to the current situation. Simultaneously, the Norwegian People’s Aid is working hard to sustain its regular volunteer search and rescue capacity.
There is now an enormous effort going on, and a lot of people want to contribute through volunteering. They assist at airports and hospitals, they disinfect medical equipment, they deliver food and medicine to people in home quarantine, they drive patients to appointments, they provide online homework help, they staff emergency ambulances. They’re the everyday heroes we can’t do without in times like these.
Volunteerism in the time of coronavirus
The Norwegian People’s Aid is a driving force in the operations and development of our volunteer rescue services. Through local chapters, volunteer crews work to protect and keep people safe, even in places far away from government resources. 2,000 volunteers divided throughout 70 local chapters are engaged in approximately 450 search and rescue operations every year, including rescuing wounded people from difficult mountain terrain, helping people of all ages who can’t find their way home, or working with people experiencing personal crises. This effort makes it possible to settle and use all parts of this mountain-rich country with its long, rugged coastline, even places where there’s no public infrastructure to help in case of an emergency.
The Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Services has stated that the most important foundation for our emergency services is the solidarity between people when someone needs help. This solidarity has become highly visible since the outbreak of the coronavirus. People’s engagement has blossomed and local NPA chapters all over the country are being approached by people who wish to assist. In the demanding situation we’re in, society is dependent on these people who can and will be everyday heroes.
The Helly Hansen team would like to offer our special thanks to all volunteers and your extraordinary efforts in this challenging time.