LAHORE (PR ) - The Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society (Faces) and the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) have joined hands to ensure the community participation, engagement and volunteering in rescue activities for community based emergencies and crises.

Further progress has also been made on community engagement in emergency response with practical implementation as the Faces and the Rescue 1122 have collaborated to launch Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in all 36 districts of the Punjab. The CERT comprising of Faces volunteers, Rescue 1122 staff and local community members will act for prevention and effective response to emergencies and crises. This entire process has been endorsed by Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer and FACES Pakistan President Mr Javaid William.

The CERT will benefit from the community engagement expertise of the FACES and its extensive network of more than 5000 volunteers through its projects of ‘Active Citizen Youth’, encouraging youth to participate in social development and peace campaigns which aimed at bringing inter-faith peace and harmony among different religions and sects. Their focus would be to make communities aware of the potential emergency situations, their prevention and effective response.

For this purpose, the Faces conducted an ‘Animation and Community Organisation’ training for the Rescue from June 24 to 26, followed by a training on ‘Leadership’ on July 4. The Faces Pakistan President Mr Javaid William was the training facilitator. The MoU has been signed between both the organisations to set out guidelines for cooperation. The Faces Pakistan will provide its expertise in community mobilisation and disaster management along with an extensive network of volunteers in all districts of the Punjab.

The Faces has been working to strengthen this partnership and achieve desired outcomes by building capacity of the Rescue 1122 staff to work with communities and to mobilize them.