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Bashir. Foto: Seppo Kujanpää

Wheatfield Prison, Dublin. Ryan, one of the inmates volunteers, in his cell. Thanks to the support of the volunteers he was able to overcome many barriers and became a volunteer himself.

In June 2009, Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce a community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) approach into a prison setting.

Volunteers in this prison have a programme for welcoming new prisoners.

Volunteers worldwide are improving access to health and empowering communities in some of the most difficult contexts.

The CBHFA approach is being innovatively applied to different types of communities, from a small village in a developing country to an Irish prison.

The programme is active in 10 prisons in Ireland, and is due to be extended to all 14 prisons. It has recruited 326 inmates as Irish Red Cross special-status volunteers who have helped to improve the lives of more than 3,279 of their fellow prisoners and the prison staff.

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