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The story of Roland Hassel - member of the arche noVa emergency aid team

17. November 2017 - Dresden
In 2017 arche noVa celebrates its 25th birthday. For a quarter of a century we have been committed to humanitarian aid and development cooperation. What's behind it? In the course of the year, we present 25 people whose stories are an example of our work.

Roland Hassel favors clear announcements – especially when they are needed the most. Otherwise he likes to live his life more laid-back. But when it gets serious and help needs to be given under difficult conditions, then he puts his trust in structure. He knows the importance of functioning processes, fast decisions and cooperation from his education for the paramedic’s job. Roland Hassel remains calm even in extreme situations and that’s why he is a big enrichment for the arche noVa emergency aid team, in which he is involved since 2015.

His first contacts to arche noVa happened at the Akkon college in Berlin, where he studied “international emergency- and catastrophe aid”. arche noVa project advisor Andrea Bindel held a presentation there in 2015. What captured Roland Hassel’s attention the most: the further training in the topics of water, sanitary and hygiene offered by arche noVa for experts and trainees in matters of Humanitarian Aid. Two of such trainings the former student attended himself, those who were his introduction to the WASH courses of Humanitarian Aid and the emergency aid team of arche noVa.
Since then he has been working with 16 colleagues at arche noVa. They all are connected by a professional education in a wider sense and the wish to make a use of their knowledge, abilities and talent in the arche noVa emergency aid projects.

Acting out the case of emergency

To guarantee the functioning of the process in a case of emergency the team gets well prepared. Regular meetings and continuous education are conditions for the volunteers to keep working. “It’s a little like a dry run – but it has to be, so we can be totally capable of acting when on-site. We are learning how to build drinking water treatment facilities and how to run them. At the trainings we familiarize with the lab technic and train logistic processes and the behavior in crisis areas”, the young man tells.

Roland Hassel is 31 years old. After his diploma he travelled for a long time and visited New Zealand, South East Asia and Latin America, where he learned Spanish. During these five years he also did his paramedic training and caught up on his high school diploma. A short while ago he finished his studies. “I wrote my bachelor thesis on the topic of high tech-filtration systems for water supply in Humanitarian Aid”, says Roland Hassel. The leader of the arche noVa emergency aid team, Konrad Menzel, who also works as WASH expert at arche noVa, accompanied him as his mentor.

Since many years Roland has been doing honorary work. Besides the emergency aid team he also engages in other organizations. One of the most impressive experiences he had in the past time ranks a project in Ethiopia, where he coordinated the activity of two health posts and again maintained a cool head. This isn’t a contradiction to empathy and humanity in his eyes, but the opposite: Only who is able to keep up a professional distance can act effectively and be a help for others, this is his credo