RED CROSS TRAINERS OF TRAINERS WORKSHOP IN ANGUILLA
This week has seen Red Cross workers from Anguilla and the other British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean attending a five-day Trainers of Trainers Workshop, at La Vue Boutique Conference Centre, supported by the Governor’s Office in Anguilla.
Addressing the participants, Governor Christina Scott, speaking from her experience in crisis management in the UK, highlighted the importance of psychosocial support in helping people affected by disasters come to terms with the experience and to rebuild their lives.
She reflected that whether as a result of gun violence or a major natural disaster such as a hurricane, the psychological and social impacts can be many and varied. People are generally resilient and demonstrate a strong ability to adapt, adjust and recover from setbacks. But their journey to a new normality will be smoother if they are supported in the right way before an event, during it, and afterwards.
Governor Scott said that the UK had learnt the hard way that it is important to share as much information with people as possible at all stages of an emergency, letting them know what they can do to help themselves and their communities. She stressed that agencies needed to be proactive in reaching out as widely as possible, do so as quickly as possible, and be willing to sustain that engagement for a long while after an incident.
The Governor stated that for these reasons she was delighted that her office had been able to contribute US$13,000 to fund the workshop to train trainers from several of the Caribbean Overseas Territories. She hoped that the training would enable the Red Cross, and other community stakeholders, to provide support to individuals and communities, especially those affected directly and indirectly by violence, right across the Caribbean.
Mr Patrick Hanley, Special Adviser to the Chief Minister, expressed the hope that the workshop would help people to have a sense of safety and assure them of emotional and physical support. He was grateful to the Governor’s office for providing the funding for the workshop.
Spokesperson and facilitator of the workshop, Ms Sharon Williams Brown, a Red Cross training volunteer from Jamaica, said in part: “We are training people so that they can train others in Psychosocial Support. The training programme focuses on how to help people who are going through a disaster in terms of focusing on their psychological and social their needs.”
The Anguilla Red Cross is in the process of building a psychosocial community programme. The aim is to build resilience, to increase the ability to absorb shock and bounce back, and to help persons to recover from a disaster or critical event.