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Jun 14, 2019

Hurricane Season is Here Again

The fact that almost 2 years after hurricanes Irma and Maria there are still houses in need of repair says something both about the magnitude of their impact and about the poverty level of the eastern region of Puerto Rico.

With another hurricane season already here, at P.E.C.E.S. we keep working at full speed to make sure as many families as possible have safe houses.

From March through June 2019, construction materials were distributed to 21 families:

  • 16 families from Humacao (Punta Santiago and neighboring communities)
  • 3 families from Naguabo
  • 1 family from San Lorenzo
  • 1 family from Las Piedras

The construction materials included windows, doors, paint, roof treatment, tiles, cement, blocks, construction rods, zinc panels and other materials. Additionally, some families were also provided with home appliances and electrical repairs:

  • 10 refrigerators
  • 5 stoves
  • 14 mattresses
  • 8 washing machines
  • 2 dryers
  • 1 dining room sets
  • 5 living room set
  • 1 respiratory therapy unit
  • 4 electrical panel replacement and electrical rewiring

As with everything we do, we make sure a social worker visits each of the families so other needs are also addressed. Families are also invited to be part of support groups or other experiences hosted by our organization, in the process of encouraging inclusion, independence, responsibility and ownership among community members.

We are getting closer to our goal of 100 homes, thanks to so many collaborators and donors. Beyond the physical repairs, we feel hopeful we are healing the ties that bind these communities and fostering new relationships that will help them be more resilient in the future. 

Thank you for your support!!

One of the houses in need of major repairs.
One of the houses in need of major repairs.
Jun 14, 2019

Inspiring Outcomes

The arrival of summer means it is time to measure how we are doing. We can say it has been a busy semester: our Social Work team carried out  27 individual, 5 group and 6 family interventions. The Psychology team performed 9 interventions with parents individually, 3 workshops with parents and 20 individual sessions with participants. 

Topics discussed with parents included: 

1. Promoting good mental health in our children. 

2. Managing my emotions. 

3. Preparing our Emergency Backpack before, during and after a natural disaster. 

4. How to teach resilience to our children. 

5. Identifying the location of rainwater drains in my community. 

Additional topics covered 

  1.  How to maintain rainwater drains in my community. 

2. Values. 

3. Fostering affective relationships. 

4. Fire Prevention. 

 

We have noticed that combining practical topics related to preparedness with more personal topics on emotional resilience is a good practice that allows us to address resilience in a more holistic way.

Again, thanks to all who have contributed to this effort. We look forward to taking the project to the next level. Have a happy summer!!

Mar 18, 2019

Transforming Children's Lives

Children flying their kites by the ocean
Children flying their kites by the ocean

The beginning of 2019 has been very active in the process providing resilience tools to Punta Santiago's children. Our goal is for participants to have a better understanding of what it means to take care of themselves and of each other, and how that helps them become a more resilient person and community. We want to reach as many children and families as possible before the next hurricane season, so there is a lot of work still to be done!

Some of the tools we have used:

-116 children, aged 6 to 14, have received psychosocial services related to their family situation after Hurricane Maria;

-67 families benefited from different services, including group workshops about resilience and support regarding their children's academic progress; 

-Our Social Work and Psychology Services teams have served both adults and children through individual interventions and group counseling;

-Families have engaged in community service events as an experience on how to express solidarity with their neighbors;

-Children have also enjoyed several recreational activities, like kite flying by the ocean (the same ocean that flooded their neighborhood more than a year ago); book readings; theater and others.

-Preparedness has also been a topic discussed with families and children, with visits from first responders (like the local firestation); and workshops on how to prepare an emergency backpack.

The combined effect of these tools, and other we have put in place, is that the children in our community appear to be calmer, happier, and more willing to participate in preparedness processes that are part of community life. We believe that this transformation will carry them to a better future for them, their families and Punta Santiago.

Firemen visited the community's elementary school
Firemen visited the community's elementary school
Art is one of the tools for healing and resilience
Art is one of the tools for healing and resilience
 
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