The Canadian Red Cross’ mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. They train volunteers in emergency response, disaster response, and disaster assistance, and provide injury prevention services such as outdoor activities safety and first aid training. The Society is a Canadian humanitarian charitable organization, and one of 190 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
Our actions and decisions will be based upon:
- Humanitarian values, as expressed in our Fundamental Principles;
- Respect, dignity and inclusiveness.
- Integrity, accountability, effectiveness, and transparency, and adaptability.
- Quality and safety.
Our fundamental principles are:
- Voluntary Service
- Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
- Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
- Community Health Services in Canada
- International Programs
- Violence, Bullying and Abuse Prevention
- Restoring Family Links
- Migrant and Refugee Services
- International Humanitarian Law
- Capacity Building
Canadian Red Cross Projects
Each overseas mission differs. Depending on the type of contract, delegates may be entitled to the following:
- Competitive pay and benefits package
- Paid leave: depending on the contract type you may be eligible for paid vacation, paid statutory holidays, rest and relaxation leave in situations where conditions are particularly difficult, and return to Canada visits for extended missions
- Monthly or per diem allowance while in the field
- Accommodation in the field
- Medical/insurance coverage
- Access to the Canadian Red Cross Employee Assistance Program
- Pre-deployment training programs
- Re-imbursement of relevant expenses (e.g. vaccinations, visa’s, travel costs)
- Opportunities to learn and grow
- Competitive pay and benefits package
- Employees Extended Healthcare and Dental plans
- Registered Retirement Pension Plan (RPP) [only for permanent position]
- Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP): All employees are entitled to open a RRSP account through voluntary payroll deduction the first of the month following three months of continuous employment
- Travel, accommodation, medical & insurance coverage when deploying [if travel required]
- Pre-deployment and recurring training programs and professional development events in Canada and abroad
- Gym and shower facilities
- Conveniently located in the heart of the city of Ottawa with excellent access to public transportation, shopping, and restaurants.
- Street and indoor parking upon availability
- Modern and flexible working environment that promotes diversity and allows telecommuting.
Please note: This information is provided to give a general overview of the international aid worker compensation and benefits. The employment contract is the definitive source of any legal and administrative interpretation.
Meet Some Team Members
Esmé Lanktree is a Health Advisor, Health in Emergencies with the Canadian Red Cross (CRC), where she has worked since 2015. She has worked on training, public health and psychosocial files with the Emergencies and Recovery Team and is now the Global Health Unit’s focal point for public health in emergencies. Esmé is also a Public Health Delegate, and has been deployed to several international emergency responses (e.g. Hurricane Matthew in Haiti 2016, Population Movement in Bangladesh 2017, Ebola response in Democratic Republic of the Congo 2018), and has volunteered domestically during floods, wildfires, tornados, and population movements since 2011. She led CRC’s Health Emergency Response Unit training from 2016 to 2018, and has supported the International Federation and National Societies in health-related trainings since 2015 (e.g. Public Health in Emergencies, Malaysia 2017; Red Cross Emergency Clinic, Nepal 2018)
Before joining CRC, Esmé was Senior Policy Analyst on HIV and Ebola files at Global Affairs Canada (2015); and worked at the International Development Research Centre on health systems, immunization, and HIV in Africa and Haiti (2011-2015). She worked at PAHO/WHO on cholera preparedness and hurricane response in the Caribbean (2010-2011), and at Montreal’s Public Health Department on epidemiological surveillance (2008-2010).
Esmé holds an honours BSc from McGill University and an MSc in Global Health from the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health.
One thing Esmé likes most: “I love working with Red Cross volunteers and local staff following emergencies, as I learn so much from them, and they are always inspiring to work with – dedicated to assisting their communities, despite often being affected by the emergency situation themselves.”
Patrice Gordon is an ERU Health Delegate, Team Leader with the Canadian Red Cross and a FACT Health Delegate with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
With the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) her role is to respond with a team of experienced Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) multinational personnel to any type of disaster around the world. This team consists of specialists in health, telecommunications, administration, water sanitation hygiene, psychosocial support and is designed around each unique situation. As Team Leader, Patrice’s role is to guide the team to ensure that they provide the most effective assistance possible, working closely with existing resources including the local Red Cross/Red Crescent Society.
With FACT, Patrice’s role in the wake of a disaster is to be health focal point in a multinational team to work with local Ministries of Health and National RCRC to assess the needs and assist with ensuring that appropriate RCRC resources from around the world are mobilized for any given situation.
Patrice holds a Masters in Science with diploma in International Medicine and Public Health, Certification in flight and transport medicine, emergency, critical care and remote health.
Prior to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2010, she worked as a Registered Nurse for 25 years in New Zealand, Canada and US, and as a high-altitude mountaineering and sailing medic internationally. In 2008, Patrice went with the Canadian Forces to Kandahar, Afghanistan as a critical care/trauma officer in the Role 3 military hospital, then sought out the Canadian Red Cross on her return from deployment. Since 2010, she found the RCRC to be a very good fit and have been to Sierra Leone for the Ebola response, Nepal for the earthquakes, Bangladesh for the population movement crisis, East Africa for the DRC Ebola response, and is leaving shortly for Mozambique following the Cyclone Idai devastation.
When Patrice is not working with Red Cross, she provides mobile medical care to remote First Nations communities in British Columbia.
For Patrice, best thing about working with RCRC is: “Each response is very unique with qualities that make it special, however the consistent best part of every deployment is the people – the individuals on the team I go with, as well as the local people and people from other organizations that we meet in each country – the affected people, the Red Cross/Red Crescent volunteers as well as all the other people from around the world there to help. In the midst of crisis, there is so much goodness and kindness to be found. I come home from every deployment amazed at the capacity to help, to find humour, to see beauty despite all of the horror and tragedy of a disaster.”
Dr. Ayham Alomari
Dr. Ayham Alomari is a Senior Health Manager in the Global Health Unit with the Canadian Red Cross where he manages the technical health advisors and oversee the technical and operational support to global health support during emergencies, recovery and long-term programs including epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response.
Ayham is Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Damascus University and holds a Master of Science in Global Health (MScGH) from University of Manchester
He started as a volunteer 20 years ago after attending a first aid course in September 1999. Since then, he worked as volunteer and later as a staff in Syrian Red Crescent in Community Health, First Aid and Disaster Management. In 2005, Ayham joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as regional staff in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) then as a Health Delegate in Tsunami operation in Indonesia. Between 2007-2010, he worked with the American Red Cross as a Senior Health Delegate and then as Head of Programs in Indonesia. During 2010-2016, he worked at IFRC in Geneva as Senior Health Officer leading a global files of community health and noncommunicable diseases. Ayham finally joined the Canadian Red Cross in May 2016.
Ayham enjoys working closely with health staff and volunteers from different National Societies and support them to implement live-saving interventions in their communities.
Our actions and decisions will be based on:
- Humanitarian values, as expressed in their Fundamental Principles
- Respect, dignity and inclusiveness
- Integrity, accountability, effectiveness, and transparency, and adaptability
- Quality and safety.
How to get involved with Canadian Red Cross
How often does Canadian Red Cross hire people?
Our varied programs and services require people from all walks of life, all communities, and a wide range of disciplines who are willing to commit themselves to our humanitarian cause. We frequently have openings for different roles and in different locations.
Volunteers are the heart of the Canadian Red Cross. More than 15, 000 volunteers share their time and skills to help others every day across Canada. Many of our volunteers are drawn by our mission and Fundamental Principles. Some of those who volunteer with us are interested in building professional skills, others are looking to stay active after they retire, while others want to engage more with their community. Your reasons may be unique to you.
We want Canadian Red Cross volunteers to get the most from their experience – so we invest in them. Volunteers are provided with training to help them build skills and maximize the learning potential in their roles. Our volunteers can expect a positive and professional environment.
Volunteers make up more than 70% of personnel within the Canadian Red Cross. We truly could not do the work we do without volunteers and we need them at all levels – including leadership.
There are many different types of volunteer positions. Some are short in duration, while others require a longer commitment. The time commitment, location of service provision, and skill requirements vary from role to role.
While the Canadian Red Cross does not currently recruit volunteers for international work; We are actively seeking volunteers for a number of opportunities across the country.
Canadian Red Cross offers internship opportunities on occasion. Roles have included placement with our global relations and humanitarian diplomacy team, which includes a lot of writing, editing tasks and learning about International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The summer is usually when most internship opportunities are available. Most internship opportunities have educational requirements attached to them, which various depending on the role.
The Canadian Red Cross does not currently recruit volunteers for international work
Top Things Canadian Red Cross Looks For in Candidates
- Our international aid workers are everyday people doing extraordinary things in the most vulnerable regions of the world. They respond to emergencies (natural disasters or conflict) or work alongside partner National Societies on development projects. They include: health professionals, capacity builders/organizational development specialists, project managers, water/sanitation engineers, financial specialists, administration support, logistics experts, communications officers.
- The Canadian Red Cross team is made up of thousands of employees and volunteers, from coast to coast, who positively impact lives in Canada and internationally. Our humanitarian mission connects us to people and communities across Canada and around the world.
- Volunteers are the heart of the Canadian Red Cross. More than 15, 000 volunteers share their time and skills to help others every day across Canada. There are many different types of volunteer positions. Some are short in duration, while others require a longer commitment. The time commitment, location of service provision, and skill requirements vary from role to role.
Advice for Candidates
Red Cross workers find their experiences in the field to be rewarding and life changing. However, they also face challenging contexts and environments to which they may not be accustomed. This personal reflection exercise is intended to help you to identify if you are ready for an overseas mission.
In addition, carefully consider whether you meet the minimum requirements for the position as identified in the job posting.
Find out steps for the application process here.