When you live in a remote village on a small Pacific Island, knowing first aid is often the difference between life and death.

Kiribati schoolboy Terieta Jonas was saved by the quick actions of a neighbour, who had just completed Red Cross first aid training.

As a toddler, Terieta wandered off during a community celebration. He was found face down in a nearby creek, not breathing.

Terieta’s next door neighbour Teinamam started doing CPR – which he had learnt at a village demonstration by Kiribati Red Cross just the night before.

“He pumped his chest 30 times then did two breaths,” says Terieta’s grandmother Otobina.

“Then he picked him up and put him over his shoulder. Terieta was vomiting and crying but after a while he was OK.”

Terieta Jonas was saved by his neighbour who had completed Red Cross first aid training. 

New Zealand Red Cross supports our Pacific neighbours by training first aid instructors so they can share life-saving skills with their communities. Around 12,000 people in the Pacific region take part in Red Cross’ first aid training each year.

During the past five years, New Zealand Red Cross has trained 345 first aid instructors across the Pacific. These instructors have gone on to teach first aid to thousands of people in their local communities, helping make their villages safer.

New Zealand Red Cross has also shared its People Savers course, which gives primary school students the essential skills to save a life and act in an emergency, throughout the Pacific.

Red Cross Instructor Cate Keville says getting children actively involved with first aid is so important.

“We have found that when children are taught at school or in their community, they go home and share their new knowledge with their parents, so the whole whanau benefits.”

Along with first aid training, New Zealand Red Cross supports Pacific national societies to deliver initiatives and training such as water and sanitation, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.