A first aid instructor at East Riding of Yorkshire Council is asking for help to raise money in order to buy medical kits so he can teach the people of Soweto basic first aid skills.
Rocky Clark, who is one of the instructors based at East Riding Leisure Haltemprice, has set up the charity Helping Them to Help Themselves – Friends of Soweto, following a visit to the South African township earlier this year.
It was during this trip that Rocky saw a young girl in bare feet walking down a dirty, dusty road with a cut on her foot and he was told they didn’t have the necessary equipment to clean or protect the injury.
Rocky is planning another trip to Soweto later in the year and whilst financial donations are required, people can also donate medical equipment via Jacobs Well in Beverley which will be shipped over to South Africa.
Using his own first aid kit, Rocky cleaned the wound and bandaged it up minimising the risk of infection and that’s when the idea of helping teaching the people of Soweto basic first aid came to him.
The charity is looking at raising £40,000 not just to provide first aid kits and training, but to also provide a building which can be used as a medical centre and then fund doctors and clinicians to go and work there.
Rocky said: “These people are living in shanty towns and they want the opportunity to learn and as I’m a first aid instructor it just all made sense.
“These people have nothing. They live in poverty, have no electricity, no running water, clothes or shoes but they have pride and the thirst for the knowledge and skills to be able to administer basic first aid to help look after the people around them.”
In conjunction with the Kliptown Youth Project, a charity aimed at providing children and people living in the slums with opportunities and when translated means Rocky Town, Rocky went back out to South Africa in June armed with 50 first aid kits, donated by Arco, and certificates for his first training session.
Those taking part were shown basic first aid as well as skills for dealing with issues such as choking babies, drowning and burns injuries as well as stab and gunshot wounds.
“I was overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to learn,” Rocky said. “We didn’t have nearly enough equipment to go round but we taught everyone who turned up.
“They absorbed the information like sponges as they are desperate to learn – in fact some of them had a better technique than me!”
Anyone who wishes to make a donation should go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/helping-them-to-help-themselves or for more information contact Rocky at firstname.lastname@example.org