Turkish aid agency TIKA holds search and rescue training for Pakistani scouts

A comprehensive Advanced Search and Rescue training program, organized by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), equipped Pakistani volunteer teams with essential search and rescue skills.

Turkish aid agency TIKA arranged the training in collaboration with the Turkish NGO Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), Sindh Boys Scouts Association (SBSA) and Alkhidmat Foundation.

The week-long training for Pakistan scouts was held in the Karoonjhar mountainous range of the Thar desert in the southern Sindh province.

The closing session witnessed the presence of Cemal Sangu, Consul General of Turkey in Karachi; Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, Provincial Commissioner of Sindh Scouts and former chief secretary of Sindh Government, and Halil İbrahim Başaran, Head of TİKA Karachi, alongside other distinguished guests.

Consul General Cemal Sangu congratulated TIKA and the participants on successfully completing the training program, which will help Pakistani volunteers operate more effectively in the event of any natural or man-made disaster.

“From the feedback from trainees, it is clear that this Search and Rescue Training has been very successful,” he said.

TIKA, with its 63 offices across the globe, has been operating in different sectors. “With its two offices in Pakistan and such training, it shows how close we hold Pakistan to our hearts,” he added.

Expressing gratitude, Provincial Commissioner of Sindh Scouts Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah acknowledged the collaboration’s significance, foreseeing its potential to establish SBSA’s Search and Rescue Training Academy.

TIKA’s Karachi coordinator Halil Ibrahim Basaran underscored TİKA’s commitment to sustaining the training, stating, “We are very pleased to be successfully implementing the search and rescue training with Sindh Scouts which we offer in many countries around the world.”

Başaran added that TİKA will continue to support this cause to make the training sustainable, stating that they will be completed in several stages. TIKA conducts search and rescue training in different countries, including Bosnia, Lebanon, and Pakistan, under its Emergency and Disaster Response Training Program.

Ahmet Türkmenoğlu, Chief Trainer from IHH, commended the dedication of the trainees despite harsh weather conditions. “Although the training area and view were beautiful, the weather conditions were very harsh, our students showed an extraordinary performance” in acquiring life-saving skills.

Habib Uddin, Team leader from SBSA, expressed regret over the timing of the training, suggesting its potential in mitigating past disasters. “If we had received this training earlier, we could have saved more lives in previous disasters in Pakistan,” he said.

The ceremony concluded with the distribution of certificates to the trainees, marking the completion of the first phase. The second stage of the training program will continue with urban search and rescue training, as well as search and rescue training in water.

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