Masaryk University’s volunteer program, which has successfully recruited hundreds of students to support emergency services with vital work during the lockdown, is now open to the general public. Photo: Campus Bohunice. Jan Prokopius / CC-BY.

Brno, Mar 17 (BD) – Over the last week, Masaryk University has been calling on its students to volunteer for essential work to support emergency services and healthcare workers during efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. This has seen, among others, students from the Faculty of Education looking after the children of healthcare workers while they are at work, and medical students in their later years of study being trained to work in emergency testing facilities or answer questions on the Regional Hygiene Centre’s telephone helpline.

Now, however, the university has extended its appeal to include any member of the public who would like to volunteer to assist with anti-coronavirus efforts, and will coordinate all help offered via their Crisis Operations Centre, which opened yesterday. The centre is staffed by university staff, students and volunteers, and will process the hundreds of offers of help already received, connecting them as efficiently as possible with requests for help from institutions and individuals.

“Students and staff started contacting us immediately when the contact lessons were interrupted. Graduates and students from other Brno universities also want to help.”

Martin Bareš, Rector of Masaryk University

The centre was established to manage the expanding volunteering activities of the university, and the great interest, especially from university students, in helping to solve problems created by the state of emergency. “Students and staff started contacting us immediately when the contact lessons were interrupted. Graduates and students from other Brno universities also want to help. We were very pleased about this and therefore we wanted to establish a system that would allow the volunteering to be coordinated as quickly as possible,” said Martin Bareš, Rector of Masaryk University.

The City of Brno is accepting donations from members of the public of face-masks and covers, including those sewn from fabric at the Social Care Department office at Koliste 19. Photo: Stock photo / Freepik.

More than 2,000 people have already applied for various activities, including personal care for the elderly, babysitting, and help with IT. Dozens of institutions and individuals have contacted the centre to ask for assistance. To participate in the City of Brno’s anti-coronavirus effort, citizens should visit this link and explain what their skills are, or how they would like to help.

As well as that, the City of Brno is accepting donations from members of the public of face-masks and covers, including those sewn from fabric. A 24-hour donation reception is open at the Social Care Department office at Koliste 19. The masks will be used first of all for social care purposes, including homes for the elderly, social workers etc., and then to the district authorities, healthcare facilities or transport companies.

If there is any other way you feel you can help the City of Brno with its efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, such as providing materials for face-masks or for disinfection, or offering the use of your free space or time, you can contact 542 173 773 between 8am and 3pm to speak with municipality staff. Outside of those hours you can send an email to koronavirus@brno.cz.

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