1.0 VOLUNTEER WORK AS BROTHERHOOD
Volunteering to work to help
those in need is a supreme form of sadaqat because it enables bonds of brotherhood to be forged between those who help and
those who are helped in a practical and direct way. The most urgent needs for volunteer work for medical students and medical
professionals are in the areas of social welfare and disaster relief because they are closely related to the health professions.
It is better for health professionals to volunteer in these two area and leave other fields to more relevant professions.
Volunteering is essentially providing skilled manpower in a time of need to work without material recompense and in the expectation
of ajr from Allah (SAW).
2.0 VOLUNTEERING FOR SOCIAL WELFARE
is defined in absolute and relative terms and its level varies from place to place. Individual poverty is due to lack of saleable
skills, lack of knowledge, lack of opportunities, and misfortunes due to failed economy or discrimination. The blind, the
aged, the mentally and the physically handicapped are incapable of working.
of poverty can be alleviative or curative. The alleviation is providing assistance. Cure is by job creation, job training/apprenticeship,
education, job search/match, and assuring a minimum wage. Poverty is prevented by compulsory saving, strengthening the family,
crisis intervention, ensuring employment, job training, and inculcating a work ethic.
help in society, takaful al ijtimae, is by charity and zakat al maal. Charity should be temporary while poverty curative
measures are undertaken. Social network are needed to guarantee basic necessities to all people. The social safety net includes
the extended family, community organizations, and the government.
work assists the elderly, the handicapped, and the mentally ill. The social welfare institutions involved in social work are:
hospitals and clinics, schools, orphanages, homes for the elderly and the handicapped.
of government in social welfare should be limited to regulation, monitoring, or funding. Social welfare work should be in
the hands of private societal organizations. Several social interventions can eradicate poverty such as nasiihat for sinners
and negligent parents, lifestyle changes, control of drug abuse, and supporting the family to survive.
3.0 VOLUNTEERING FOR DISASTER RELIEF
or a disaster situation is said to exist when the magnitude of the problem or its speed of evolution and progression overwhelm
the usual coping mechanisms. Characteristics of a disaster are immediate danger to life, unstable and unpredictable situation,
events happening quickly, emotions high, and no routine or standard responses.
disasters are those in which humans are involved directly in the causation such as: war/violence, economic disruption,
political instability, and social crisis. Non man-made disasters are disasters that happen without any direct involvement
of humans such as epidemic disease, drought, crop failure, famine, hurricanes, typhoons, flooding, and earthquakes.
a disaster requires a full assessment of its human, geographical, social / psychological, financial / resources, and technological
dimensions Disasters can be anticipated and can be prevented.
of crisis management is to reverse the situation back to normal or limit the damage done. Crisis management requires speed
in information gathering, deciding, and implementing. Because of the rapid change in status quo, decisions must be updated
disaster management involves assessing the situation, assessing potential development, assessing side effects, determining
who can be involved, stopping actions that make the situation worse, deciding the strategy and alternative strategies, continuous
review and assessment, and avoiding panicking.
processes should go on continuously during disaster management: assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluation. Tracking
progress of a crisis must be timely and accurate. Prioritizing and decision-making are undertaken under pressure of time.
Decisions are made on less that full information more often than in normal situations. Intuition based on previous experience
plays a more prominent role. Routines are very good for dealing with crises. There must be a recognized leader.
of response is very important in a rapidly developing crisis situation. Quick intervention at the right time can limit the
damage. A few crises can become chronic problems if the causative agent continues operating unchecked or if the primary cause
leads to secondary crises that become chronic and are not checked. Most crises are self-limiting and are time-limited. Speed
of response is very important to limit the damage. Late intervention serves no purpose because the damage is already done
and the crisis may be over.
emergency you may not have the luxury of using the ideal approach. Speed is important and we may have to use less that ideal
quick and dirty solutions. As far as possible you must avoid creating future problems in our haste to resolve a current crisis.
Charismatic leaders usually emerge at times of crisis. They are usually very effective in crisis management.
disaster is unique. There are no fixed rules that can cover management of all disasters. There are however some general principles.
Many crises may have to be waited out. Time is the ultimate solution. Epidemics of infectious diseases are self-limiting in
time if spread of the contagion can be controlled. Preventing movement into and out of the stricken region is a first preliminary
measure. Spread of the infection to the healthy can be prevented by appropriate measures of vaccination and other precautions
against infection. Interventions in a crisis situation are always associated with some risk. The intervention may inadvertently
cause more damage. It may not achieve its goal or it may close off other more viable options. Having a fallback plan minimizes