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Mar 10, 2020

Happy International Women's Day!

On International Women's Day, meet a few of the incredible women working to support communities in crisis with IsraAID in the Bahamas, Colombia, Greece, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and more.

We're incredibly proud of the strong women leaders we work with around the world, and hope you will enjoy the video linked below that celebrates their accomplishments.

IsraAID has been working in Mozambique since Cyclone Idai hit the country in March 2019. Today, we are working with the education system in Sofala Province toward increased preparedness for disasters, should they strike.

Thank you for your support! And we wish you a very happy International Women's Day!


Feb 27, 2020

Training Professionals & Community Workers

As Guatemala continues to recover from the El Fuego Volcano eruption that took place in 2018, IsraAID is still on the ground working to strengthen communities toward reducing the risks and vulnerablities that future crises could pose.

Over the last months, IsraAID has worked alongside the Ministries of Education and Health, as well as the Guatemalan Government Agency for National Coordination for Disaster Reduction, to identify key leaders to undergo training in Psychological First Aid with IsraAID.

In September, all three agencies signed commitments with IsraAID to help identify and target key figures to participate. This cohort attended a two-day training in October focusing on PFA, made up of eight Ministry of Education officials, and 17 representatives from schools, totaling at 25 trainees. Selected participants attended an additional day focusing on IsraAID’s cascading model of “training the trainers”—to create a sustainable and efficient mechanism to amplify the reach of the PFA training, enabling them to continue to train school staff and other community leaders.

The first day of the training focused on understanding the importance of Psychological First Aid; ethical guidelines regarding administering PFA; and discussing different aspects of psychosocial support networks and methodologies. Participants took part in a simulation led by IsraAID Psychosocial support specialists to to practice providing PFA. The second day addressed the impact that stress can have on individuals and communities, as well as service providers, and offered self-care tips and stress relief activities for participants to use on beneficiaries in the future. Finally, Psychological First Aid manuals were distributed to participants, and feedback on the experience was collected.

Erickson, the principal of Telesecundaria Chapernas, shared at the closing of the training, that he had been worried that there were no staff members at his school with psychological training or relevant academic experience. He was relieved to have participated in this training, because now he understood that actually he, as well as many of the other staff members, could provide Psychological First Aid to those in need in an emergency situation, after being trained on this methodology. Carolina, a psychologist from the Ministry of Health added to the conversation, “it is important that all of us are aware that the PFA can be provided by people other than psychologists. It’s just like medical first aid, even if we are not medical doctors or firefighters, we can learn the tools to support the crucial moments at the beginning.”

Another participant, Iveth, who is a Coordinator at Max Paredes Lima High School, shared with the team: “The trainings that IsraAID has given us have been very useful and added a lot to my ability to do my job, especially toward understanding how help students in appropriate ways, and to be prepared in how to respond to any disaster, crisis or emergency.” She added that the training were helpful because they were practical and participatory, and that facilitators emphasized participants’ needs and questions. ”I learned how to help others to take control over a situation when their emotions are blocking them,” she added.

A similar, although condensed version of the PFA training was also conducted for 37 members of the Risk Management Department of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, later in October.

Thank you for your continued support of this work!!

Feb 25, 2020

Disaster Risk Reduction in Education

Since IsraAID arrived in Dominica in 2017 following Hurricane Maria, the team on the ground has shifted from emergency response, to recovery, and now toward long-term sustainable development programming. During the final quarter of 2019, the IsraAID team continued to work in three main sectors of programming: Livelihood development through youth engagement, Child Protection, and Disaster Risk Reduction in Education.

Our appreoach to Disaster Risk Reduction in Education prioritizes community involvement in creating and implementing plans for emergency situations. Because schools in many ways represent the core of community, schools are the ideal place to root this work in partnership with local authorities, parents, teachers, and other caregivers.

As such, IsraAID Dominica is working toward completing the development of contingency plans in schools across the island. Toward this goal, during the final quarter of 2019, another 9 schools completed their School Safety Project, bringing the total up to 58; additional schools will receive funding to complete their assessments in 2020.

In December, a simulated national drill was led by the IsraAID team to work through two potential scenarios: a tsunami warning and a hurricane. 17 staff members from the Ministry of Education’s Emergency Response Team, as well as representatives from the Office of Disaster Management and CREAD attended and participated.

The “Education in Emergency: Contingency Plan” curriculum was developed and completed with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF, the Office of Disaster Management, as well as representatives from the early childhood and accessible educational fields. The contingency plan includes a situation analysis, reports on capacity building workshops, and a full contingency plan with recommendations, should a future disaster strike. Check out pictures of the report, below!

With these important steps, communities on Dominica will be better prepared should another hurricane or other disaster hit the island.

Thank you for your support of this program!

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