During the week, 29 year old Salah Raya (pictured) works as a doctor in his private clinic. Every weekend he volunteers with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
Salah has been a volunteer for over 10 years. In the first years there was not so much to do in the Red Crescent, but since the conflict started it has been very busy, “I have not had a vacation since the conflict started over two years ago” he says.
“Every day we go to work or go with the ambulances, we have more to do. The smile of the people when they get help is enough for me to go on and on. I have not had a day off during the last two years”, he says. “Now I run a private clinic and take shifts with the ambulances maybe 1-3 times a week, all the volunteers do it like that. Shifts last from 10 to 14 hours depending on the people we assist and what kind of treatment we need to give them”
“In addition to first aid and ambulance transport all over Damascus, we are called to hospitals also to help the doctors treat the patients because they are overwhelmed. We also transport patients from hospitals in the suburbs to hospitals in the city center of Damascus, they are sometimes less overwhelmed. But who knows how long that will last”.
If you would like to help Red Crescent volunteers like Salah, please give what you can at www.redcross.ie