April 6-12, 2014 is National Volunteer Week.
Meet some of the inspiring CMAT volunteers who help us fulfil our missions in communities around the world!
Over the past number of years, CMAT has undergone some significant changes, many of which remain out of the public spotlight. When it came time to reconstruct the CMAT website, the Board of Directors took to Social Media to help find a web designer willing to volunteer his or her time on such a huge challenge. The search led to Mikael Kjellström, a semi-retired photographer and Emergency Medical Responder with BC Ambulance. Mikael recalls, “I stumbled across CMAT’s old website a few years ago after a photography colleague of mine mentioned the organization. We discussed the power of images and what organizations lack in images. After reviewing CMAT’s old website, I knew I could help by designing a new website which would be more user-friendly.”
The work started in late 2012, starting with a full backup of the volunteer and donor database. “There were nearly 1000 volunteers, and over 5000 donors listed in the database, and we wanted to make sure that information remained secure,” Mikael recalls. Having spent countless hours in his free time designing the infrastructure of the website, Mikael drew on his previous experience working for large market newspapers, news agencies, magazines and corporate clients in Sweden, Canada, United States and England.
The CMAT website was launched in October 2013, providing users with up-to-date information about CMAT activities, and providing CMAT communications a straightforward and easy method of public communication. Combined with its Facebook and Twitter feeds, CMAT has a following of nearly 3000 followers. Utilizing WordPress, the website was launched to rave reviews with members. With the launch of the website, Mikael took to the daunting task of redesigning the nuts and bolts of the CMAT Database.
“We wanted to make the CMAT database very straightforward and user friendly. It was important to make sure it was both accessible in the field with limited bandwidth internet, and also with users with high bandwidth. We’re very excited to formally launch the database in early May.”