Like many others today, we have been watching the rescue of the Chilean miners with bated breath, hopeful for a safe and smooth operation. Meanwhile, our Chilean Red Cross counterparts have been providing much-needed support for the miners and their families these last few months.
The Chilean Red Cross worked with local volunteers in Copaipo to set up a “chapter” at Camp Hope. 40 volunteers took turns working in the area, ensuring 24-hour support to the miners’ families. They distributed food provided by the local municipality, provided First Aid, psychosocial supports and Family Tracing. Specific needs were also addressed; this includes ensuring that families received their medications and cashing/depositing paychecks for family members waiting at the campsite- anything necessary at the moment to make the wait more comfortable.
The goal of providing psychosocial support is to “normalize a situation that is outside of the normal” – that is, to help the families see that they are having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.
Below is a flag that the miners signed and sent up on the 27th – 28th of September for the Chilean Red Cross, specifically thanking Martita Flores of the Caldera Chapter Red Cross for all of her support. She has been especially instrumental in providing supports to the miners’ families (including, as other RC volunteers have done, washing their clothes in efforts to alleviate their distress).