The Veolia Foundation has been working with the French Red Cross since its creation. Regularly renewed, the partnership agreement uniting the two organizations makes it possible to give vulnerable populations access to basic services such as water and sanitation, energy and waste management.
In order to respond effectively on the ground, training sessions are regularly held for French Red Cross team members and Veolia volunteers who wish to take part in a mission. The latest training session was in Grans, in southern France in December 2015. For a week, thirty trainees, including four Veolia volunteers, took part in theoretical and practical sessions.
The aim of these training days is to provide a better understanding of the Red Cross movement, to understand the local people’s relationship with water, sanitation and energy, and finally to learn to set up Aquaforce type equipment in situ. Among the trainers were Thibaut Constant and Frédéric Plumas, project managers at the Veolia Foundation, and Antoine Gicquel, who works in Veolia’s Centre for Environmental Analysis. In both theoretical and practical sessions, they presented the Aquaforce 500 and 5000, mobile water treatment units created by the Veolia Foundation for deployment in the field where there are disasters, and taught the participants about water treatment chemistry. The goal is for everyone to be able to set up and use the Aquaforce on future missions
The trained staff will then be sent out into the field in the Emergency Response Teams deployed by the French Red Cross. Veoliaforce volunteers participate by providing their WatSan expertise. They join the hundred or so representatives of the Group that have already undertaken missions with the French Red Cross since the partnership first began.