A group of around 13 women from refugee backgrounds have taken part in a specially designed first aid course.

Over three hours they learned, among other things, CPR for children and babies, choking treatment, and how to stem bleeding.

The course was delivered through some funding from the Ministry of Social Development.

The Pathways to Employment team gauged community interest to see how many people wanted to do the course and had a fantastic response.

They then met with the Red Cross first aid coordinator to design a course that specifically focussed on first responder treatment for young children.

“We think it’s important that women with small children and babies know what to do in an emergency,” said Sharon McIvor from Pathways to Employment, “it’s empowering to have the skills to deal with emergency situations without panicking.”

The group were taught CPR for children and babies

The course was very interactive with a few fits of giggles here and there as the women tried their hand at CPR.

Many of them had never participated in a first aid course before and engaged in the session enthusiastically.

“I’m very happy with how it went,” said their first aid trainer, Anja van Kesteren, “the group was smiling, taking part in the practical skills, and had lots of questions throughout.”

The participants took away an ability to assess emergency situations and decide the next steps. Many agreed that the practical nature of the course will help them remember the knowledge they’ve picked up.

“When you do CPR yourself [on the dummy] you get a better idea of what to do,” said one of the participants, “it's different than you see in the movies, it's very satisfying to know.”

This training will be an asset for the women as they continue their employment journey, especially for any roles that involve looking after children.