After the devastating TC Pam struck the islands of Vanuatu on March 13th, IsraAID was one of the very first teams on ground to respond. On March 18th, IsraAID sent a team of professionals to assess and respond to the increasing water scarcity, lack of food and need of psychosocial services provision at this critical time. IsraAID has distributed water, farm and garden kits for all villages in Tangoa Island, filters distribution and rehabilitated water harvesting systems in community facilities. In addition, IsraAID led the Psychosocial First Aid efforts in the island, working with service providers while establishing a long-term recovery provision approach for rehabilitation and resilience promotion.
As of today, IsraAID is partnering with government officials; MOH, MOJ and MOW, along with invested partners, WHO Cadena and Humedica, to create sustainable, long-term programs, responding to the community’s needs and local assets in the fields of WASH and Mental Health Psychosocial Support.
MHPSS Primary Care System, training of trainers program:
In a cascade holistic module, targeting 240 service providers from all 6 Vanuatu provinces, IsraAID in Partnership with Ministry of health (MoH) and world health organization (WHO) is addressing three layers of community; community leaders, welfare personal and clinical staff, to establish a sustainable mental health psychosocial support (MHPSS) system in Vanuatu, basing the MHPSS efforts in existing primary care systems. IsraAID team (art therapist and a clinical psychologist) together with Dr. Jimmy, Vanuatu national psychiatrist in charge of mental health in the country have begun training on June 15th, offering a MHPSS holistic approach. Till today 114 trainees from Shefa, Tanna a and Malampa provinces participated in the training, building capacity through developing communication skills, stress reduction technics, assessments, diagnoses and intervention according to the MHGAP and the capacity of each three layers. Conveying creative methods and skill building to diagnose, engage and support people coping with psychosocial and mental disorders in the community while establishing the foundation of a referral mechanism in Vanuatu. During the training, Mr. Daniel Pakoa, Chief of Euta community has expressed the growing need to address alcohol and drugs abuse with the youth of his community, he has inspired us all by sharing that he had began implementing technics learned in training and that through the networking that is formed, he is now able to collaborate with other practitioners to reduce the problem and implement a new approach to the situation.
IsraAID experts, based on their specialized “know-how” in water irrigation, designed a disaster-resistant system that uses gravity to channel fresh and safe drinking water from mountain springs down to Tongoa island communities. This new water system will be able to withstand future cyclones and earthquakes.
In partnership with Humedica, the program targets 640 beneficiaries living in the villages of Matangi and Itakoma (128 households), A primary school that is present in Matangi Village and Davalapa Dispensary (the only health service available on the north part of Tongoa Island). These villages, school and dispensary will soon be connected to running water all year round. IsraAID team is currently preparing the ground for the program implementation, working with targeted communities, importing most appropriate DRR equipment and taking all measures to be most prepared for the gravity water system construction during July 2015. we look forward to begin hands-on work! As Pakoa, our partner from Tangoa says, “Water is the essence of life and it is our communal responsibility and duty to take care of life”.