From Amatrice to I don't take a risk

Job Shadowing in Italy (11th-17th October 2016)

During the last week of the Job Shadowing in Italy, the Balkan delegation came in close contact with the Italian civil protection system by observing, through lectures and field experiences, the activities aimed at prediction and risk prevention, relief to the affected population, emergency response and risk mitigation.
The first contact was with the Department of Civil Protection at its operational headquarters in Rome, where the participants visited the offices for forecasting, risk prevention and monitoring, planning and emergency management, and development of the culture of civil protection.
After a presentation of the civil protection system by the project director Luigi D'Angelo, Alessandra Calcara presented the campaign “I Do Not Take Risks”, focusing on the principal aspects of the initiative.
Afterwards, the partners visited some of the offices present in the operating center, including: Italy Situation Room, coordination room, territorial monitoring (System) and sea emergencies (Coemm) service and Coau - Joint Air Coordination service.
During their first day in Italy, the participants also visited the Order of Malta Italian Relief Corps (C.I.S.O.M.), retracing the history of the organization and visiting its headquarters in Rome’s Grillo Square.
On its second day in the Lazio region, the delegation traveled to Rieti and, later, to Amatrice, one of the towns most affected by the earthquake in central Italy. After visiting DI.COMA.C - the Command and Control Headquarters operating in the area affected by the earthquake, the delegation moved to Amatrice where, accompanied by firefighters, participants visited the red zone. Among the rubble, the participants learned about the activities already carried out by firefighters, in coordination with other operational structures, and those planned for the future recovery of the town.
The following days of the visit took the Balkan participants to Tuscany. In particular, they visited Florence, Fucecchio, Cerreto Guidi and Pisa. Common thread of these visits was observation of the "I do not take risks" initiative, a national communication campaign on best practices of civil protection. Walking through the streets, the participants observed volunteers belonging to ANPAS and other organizations instruct citizens on the most effective ways to protect oneself from the risks connected to floods or earthquakes. The stop in Tuscany was also an opportunity to visit the national headquarters of ANPAS. On this occasion, the delegation followed with interest and attention the demonstration of the software used for volunteer and equipment management in ANPAS operational rooms.
Surely, participants will return to Albania and Kosovo carrying a bulky bag, due to the volume of gifted gadgets from ANPAS and CISOM and the information sheets of “I Do Not Take Risks”, but above all, by the ideas and notions on emergency management they were exposed to and by reflections on the importance of awareness-raising campaigns carried out by volunteer supported by the structure of the national department.

Job Shadowing in Italy (11th-17th October 2016).

Successful Workshop held in Tirana for strengthening the volunteers-based Civil Protection systems and towards EUAV certification

Seventeen pro-active and committed representatives from the eight partners of Albania, Kosovo*, Romania, Hungary and Italy made possible the carrying out of the Workshop "Development of Roadmap for Strengthening the Volunteers-based Civil Protection Systems", held in Tirana on the 20 and 21 of April 2016. 

The event aimed at defining a national roadmap for Volunteerism in Civil Protection in the Balkan countries and identifying gaps and needs of potential Hosting Organizations (HO) for EU Aid Volunteers Certification.

Tirana: workshop

Using thematic work groups related to the EUAV certification requirements, and non-formal discussions – using simple tools like coloured markers, posters and the willingness to commit from the Balkan organizations - the participants from the hosting organizations identified six priority topics to be covered during the upcoming training “EUAV certification for HO”. The priorities identified the go from safety and security, learning plan, in-country induction and debriefing methodologies for volunteers deployed, to data protection and partnership management.

Tirana: workshop

The participants also discussed the legal and institutional framework of volunteerism in civil protection, in Albania and Kosovo, as assessed during the mission held in February. Starting from the needs and strengths of the systems, identified during the assessment, four recommendations have been addressed to each country, concerning: legal framework, institutional setup, networking of voluntary organizations, and protection of volunteers.
Photo Gallery of the workshop
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*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

The BE DRIN Training Course on Volunteers Management and EU Aid Volunteers Certification for Hosting Organizations successfully took place in Pristina (Kosovo*) from the 27 th of June to the 1 st  of July 2016.

Fourteen trainees from Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Kosovo Red Cross, Centre of Civil protection Volunteers of Albania (QVEC) and General Directorate of Civil Emergencies of Albania (GDCE) took part in the course.

Many topics have been addressed to reduce Balkan partners’ gap in the field of volunteer management, and to continue the process of facilitating their approximation to EU Aid Volunteers certification standards for Hosting Organizations. The topics covered within the course have been, among others: EU Aid Volunteers initiative & certification mechanism, safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, health, safety and security, code of conduct and volunteer management.

The training, coordinated by Anpas, saw the engagement of expert trainers from the Italian Civil Protection Department, Italian Red Cross, Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, who alternated various training methodologies with the goal of triggering team building mechanisms among trainees: presentations, role-plays, work-groups, gamification and simulation.

Trainers and trainees have worked in harmony exchanging knowledge and procedures to enhance the expertise of the Balkan organizations on civil protection and volunteer management issues.

A final multiple-choice test has been submitted to the trainees and the participation of trainees and trainers (many of them volunteers) has been recognized through a certificate.

The week spent between Pristina and the Kosovo Academy for Public Safety in Vushtrri, has reserved in addition to the training activities, socializing moments as the intercultural appetizer, to strengthen the relationship between trainees and trainers, following the European spirit of the initiative.

Many doubts have been clarified, some concerns remain, and will serve as a stimulus to achieve other goals within the next project activities.


Training course


Training course


Training course


Kosovo, training course June 27th-July1st

Photos and videos of the training on the Facebook of Be Drin and flickr Photo Gallery.

*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the

International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence


On February 20th the BE DRIN Needs Assessment Team concluded its mission in Albania, Kosovo* and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The team, composed by expert staff of the EU partners’, were deployed for 12 days in the three target countries, and carried out an in depth assessment on several topics:

  • legal and institutional framework of volunteerism and the local approach to volunteerism in civil protection, with emphasis on the hydro-meteorological risk management;
  • needs and priorities regarding the EU Aid Volunteers Certification Mechanism of the potential hosting organizations;
  • needs for the Disaster Management and Response Training programmes for hosting organizations and volunteers.

To this end, the team met with national and local authorities for civil protection, voluntary organizations, whom clearly evidenced their needs: improvement of the institutional coordination, awareness raising campaigns on the main natural disasters, training on technical aspects, volunteer management and fund raising, and need for proper equipment.

In Albania, the team visited in Tirana the General Directorate of Civil Emergency–Ministry of Internal Affairs andthe Center of Civil protection Volunteers of Albania-QVEC in Tirana (Albania), who are partner of the project, and the Albanian Red Cross. The team moved one day to Scutari were meetings with the Prefecture, the Municipality and the Fishermen organization, first-responders in case of floods, were held. In their last day in Tirana, the team took part as observers in a small exercise organized by QVEC volunteers, simulating an evacuation of a school and first aid operation in the aftermath of an earthquake.


In Kosovo, the team met the Emergency Management Agency-EMA, partner of the project, the Director of the Civil Protection and Rescue of Pristina Municipalty and Red Cross Kosovo, all based in Pristina. The team also had the chance to visit the hydro-methereological Institute of Kosovo and 112 Emergency Operation Centre and talk about emergency call system in Kosovo.

International actors, like UNDP Kosovo welcomed the yeam and showed their willingness to build synergies with other ongoing projects.

Meeting with 112 operation centre in Pristina talking about emergency call system in Kosovo

The last two days of the mission, the team moved to Skopje, FYR of Macedonia, and met staff and volunteers of the Fire Protection Union of Macedonia-FPUM, voluntary organization partner of the project, active in fire-fighting and flood response, and their regional branch, the Regional Fire Protection Union- Areodrom in Skopje, very active in training and education for fire prevention.

The team also met in Skopje the Protection and Rescue Directorate(PRD), the Macedonian National civil protection authority.

Last day of the mission, the team travelled to Vinica, in the east of the country, and met volunteers of the Municipal Fire Protection Union of Vinica, Professional Fire Fighters Brigade and had a meeting with the Vinica Municipality office for civil protection, the Regional Protection and Rescue Directorate (regional authority for disaster management) and the Red Cross branch of Vinica.

19th of february

The local volunteers showed to the team also the flood hot spots of river Bregalnitsa and his affluent, which overflew in 2015 causing damages to the houses nearby, fortunately promptly evacuated thanks to the local authorities, professional and volunteers fire fighters of the Municipal Fire Protection Union in Vinica.

Thanks to the work of needs assessment team, the partners will have a better understanding of needs and a comprehensive network of stakeholders with whom to implement capacity-building activities and training modules.


9/20th February Live from Tirana - Needs Assessment Team in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia

Assessment Team:
Associazione Nazionale Pubbliche Assistenze (ANPAS) - Italy
Ms. Annalisa Bergantini(Volunteer Management expert)
Mr. Samuele Pezzuolo(Expert civil protection volunteer)
Italian Civil Protection Department (DPC) - Italy
Ms. Viola Vallini (Expert in International Relations and Emergency Management)

When and Where
10-13 February 2016, Albania
14-17 February 2016, Kosovo
18 -20 February 2016, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence


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9/20th February Live from Tirana - Needs Assessment Team in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia