UNICEF Trainers Aid Disaster Preparedness

anguillian
By anguillian October 23, 2017 11:37

 

 

The Department of Disaster Preparedness, in collaboration with UNICEF, has conducted a “train the trainers” three-day workshop particularly for education officials and those persons in the community who work closely with children. The workshop, which ran over October 17th thru 19th, was facilitated primarily by a UNICEF delegation recruited from the island of St. Lucia. The purpose of the training program is to provide a sense of wellbeing for children in the aftermath of the recent hurricane.

Ms. Susan Hodge, who is the Program Officer for Community Outreach in the department, said that when she realized the destruction and chaos after the hurricane, she recognized the impact that it would have on our children. She said that all at once she decided to contact UNICEF which, was in fact, at the same time trying to delegate persons to conduct such programs for the hurricane affected areas. Ms. Hodge said that this program seeks to train 25 to 30 persons who will become qualified to deal with children in the aftermath of such traumatizing disasters and that, subsequently, this training will be adjusted to accommodate the needs of adolescents and adults as well. She insisted, “The main objective of the program is to train persons in how to help affected individuals get on their way to a Return to Happiness (RTH) state.”

Ms. Denise Robateau, the representative of the Eastern Caribbean Office of UNICEF out of Barbados, mentioned: “The prime purpose of the program is to provide psycho-social support for the emotional wellbeing of participants who are involved in the training. We have participants from different sectors: there are school councilors, social officers, representatives from the Red Cross and other volunteers. These are being trained to go out into the schools and administer to the psycho-social needs of children. The program is entitled Return to Happiness and we are in fact very concerned about the restoration to normalcy for the population. We are, therefore, doing our part to bring people happiness and hope for the future”.

Ms. Tara Emanuel is the Lead Trainer of the Return to Happiness training program. She noted that as a team from UNICEF they have come to support the teachers, guidance councilors, social workers and anybody who would be working directly or indirectly with children. She explained, “We are training persons in this RTH program so that they would be able to implement what they have learnt even after we are gone. We intend to meet with the six primary schools on Friday, and those persons who are being trained in the program now will get the opportunity to exercise, in a hands-on way, the knowledge that they have acquired in the training.”

The Return to Happiness program, undertaken by UNICEF, is supported by the OECS. Apart from Anguilla, it is being conducted for other islands including Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda, affected by hurricanes.

anguillian
By anguillian October 23, 2017 11:37

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