Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica

by IsraAID
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica
Long-term Resilience Building in Dominica

IsraAID arrived in Dominica to provide urgent relief after Hurricane Maria devastated the island five years ago, in September 2017. We provided safe water access, urgent healthcare, and mental health support for more than 17,000 people.

IsraAID has since stayed in Dominica to help reduce the risks of future hazards. We work in close partnership with the government, schools, local leaders, and local and global aid actors. We are committed to supporting Dominica to achieve its goal of becoming the world’s first climate-resilient country.

In the last five years, we have worked in all schools on the island --more than 70 institutions -- to engage 11,000+ children, teachers, and educational staff in Disaster Risk Management education and training. We have also worked with hundreds of adults to develop their individual economic resilience through livelihood training, and key institutions to promote communal economic resilience. IsraAID Dominica is also a leading regional voice promoting disaster risk reduction across the Caribbean, with a particular focus on sharing our expertise in education.

 

In celebration of five years on the island, we made a video highlighting what we've achieved over the past five years and what we focus on today: IsraAID Dominica: Five Years On

 

Thank you for your continued support throughout the years. 

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A June 2022 survey found that 92% of Dominicans still see climate change as a real threat.  53% have ‘strongly experienced’ its effects personally, and 76% are worried about future threats. Most Dominicans believe that not enough is being done to combat climate change, yet 80% of the population feels a personal responsibility to act.

With incremental but steady economic growth anticipated over the next four years, it is crucial to maintain sustainable and climate-resilient growth and recovery. IsraAID continues to partner with the government, educational institutions, and other key partners to build climate resilience and reduce the risk of future disasters in Dominica through education and livelihood programs, from the youngest to the oldest members of the population across the whole island.

 

DRR education for early childhood development (ECD) 

Kay and Kelan can Prepare for Different Hazards, our new activity book for children aged 3-5 

Following the success of 'Kay and Kelan Prepare for a Hurricane in 2020,' we have produced another book, this time covering multiple hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides,  floods, volcanoes, and fires. We piloted the book in four schools and will soon distribute it to all ECD centers on the island. 'Kay and Kelan can Prepare for Different Hazardsincludes a relatable story, creative activities, and important reminders to engage children in developing age-appropriate understanding. It is accompanied by a teachers’ manual and family emergency plan template, which guide caregivers to maximize this creative resource.  

DRR and psychosocial support (PSS) workshops for ECD parents and teachers  

In May-June, we held five DRR workshops and two PSS workshops for parents and teachers of ECD students in 17 schools, including the indigenous Kalinago Territory. 88% of participants increased their knowledge of hazards, vulnerabilities, and physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to crises; all participants reported increased confidence in preparing and responding to disasters, including supporting others. One of the workshop sessions introduced parents and teachers to the activities in Kay and Kelan can Prepare for Different  Hazards, so that they can maximize the book.

Volunteers from our long-term partners Youth Emergency Action Committee provided support and ran activities for children. We are planning further sessions with these teenage volunteers to continue important conversations on DRR, community resilience, and the role of youth. 

Inclusive DRR for children with special educational needs 

IsraAID has worked with the Ministry of Education, Office for Disaster Management, and  Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica since 2018 to develop and refine School  Emergency Operation Plans (SEOPs). We are now delivering inclusive DRR education and developing SEOPs for schools serving children with special educational needs (SEN). We launched in three schools in June, serving 53 students up to 16 years old with physical and intellectual disabilities. 

We visited each school to meet students and staff and assess building sizes, layouts, and existing resources. We provided over 100 items like whistles, megaphones, fire extinguishers, solar lightbulbs, and Braille emergency exit signs. We distributed 61 Emergency Preparedness Toolkits from the Wisconsin Council on Physical Disabilities, and 23 Hazards, Disasters, and Climate Change books to the schools and other key stakeholders. We are raising awareness of SEN children’s needs in emergencies and DRR.

Thank you for your continued support. 

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Work Online Dominica (WOD) is an initiative by the Government of Dominica’s Ministry of Public Works and The Digital Economy, in collaboration with IsraAID, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Dominica State College.

The aim of the initiative was to equip 60 professionals with the tools and resources necessary to leverage their skills and experience to access online freelance opportunities, over the course of 12 weeks.

After the implementation of two Cohorts, WOD continues to engage professionals between the ages of 18 to 45 years, with extra emphasis on graduates from Dominica State College, people from the Kalinago Territory, and any other vulnerable subpopulations, who have access to reliable internet and a computer, and can commit a minimum of 20 hours’ participation per week.

This third Cohort integrates the lessons learned from the previous 2 cohorts, to make sure that the inputs of previous participants, best practices, and areas for improvement are considered.

As per the project outcome for Work Online Dominica Cohort 3 program, selected participants will be engaged in training sessions that will enable them to gain knowledge, tools, resources, and skills to access online freelance employment opportunities.

Throughout this past month, all selected participants were provided with technical and motivational support, through coaching sessions and individual one-on-one coaching calls. To date, there have been a total of six modules implemented, keeping within the implementation timeframe. Participants were also provided with video modules that were used as information for the completion of their weekly assignments.

To ensure that all participants attended the calls, and completed assignments and modules, a Monitoring and Evaluation sheet was created and is regularly updated by the Digital Skills Specialists as a means of capturing participants' attendance and completion of the various modules.

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Last month, we celebrated International Day of Education. This day is a global celebration of everyone's fundamental right to education. Access to education of all kinds - language, mathematics, skills training - creates long-term impact, providing livelihoods opportunities, teaching vulnerable communities about their rights, and supporting refugees integrate into their new communities.

Over the past few years since IsraAID first arrived in Dominica, we've embarked on quite a few education initiatives, seeking to educate and engage schools and communities across Dominica.

After hurricane Maria, IsraAID Dominica set up Child Friendly Spaces across the island to provide psychosocial support to children and educational opportunities, continuing to provide children with some sort of normality while everything around them was changing.

As the world came face-to-face with the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, we provided all primary schools on the island with PPE, including included hygiene posters, hand soap dispensers and hand soap. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we recognized the need to keep children engaged in learning opportunities and so we created a virtual recreation room where children could participate in fun learning activities.

In July 2021, we embarked on an Early Childhood Development Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project where we went to schools to engage preschoolers in a learning session and art and craft activity on DRR.

Last year we also piloted a program using Plethora technology where 5th and 6th grade students were able to improve on their mathematical and scientific skills.

As we dive into our programming for 2022, we are excited to continue our work in the Education sector, working more with young children and their families on how to prepare children for disasters in our DRR project, and how children can be active actors in the case of a crisis. In our DRR project, we will also be working in special education skills to engage students with different abilities.

Thanks you for supporting us as we work to ensure the people of Dominica are prepared for future disasters.

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Work Online Dominica (WOD) is an initiative by the Government of Dominica’s Ministry of Public Works and The Digital Economy, in collaboration with IsraAID, Dominica State College (DSC), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The aim of the initiative was to equip 60 professionals between the ages of 18 to 40 years with the tools and resources necessary to leverage their skills and experience to access online freelance opportunities, over the course of 12 weeks.

Following the successful WOD pilot, the partners integrated lessons learned and launched a second cohort of the program.

WOD Cohort 2 launched on 4 June 2021 at the Dominica State House. Presentations were given by the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; IsraAID Dominica’s Country Director; the Minister of Youth Development and Empowerment, Youth at Risk, Gender Affairs, Seniors Security, and Dominicans with Disabilities; the Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, representing the Prime Minister; the Minister for Public Works and the Digital Economy; and a participant from the WOD pilot.

As of September 30, 2021, Work Online Dominica Cohort 2, 23 participants have been interviewed for jobs, and 12 secured online employment. This number is expected to increase exponentially as IsraAID continues to provide ongoing support to the participants of the cohort.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS 

  • At the end of the 12-week program, 12 applicants secured at least one online job. Most jobs were US-based, hourly, and were through the Upwork freelancing platform. Some participants also received Fiverr gigs from Canadian companies.
  • Participants attended a total of 23 interviews. Some individuals received interviews but did not get the job or declined the offer.
  • All participants acquired a minimum of 2 new high-demand digital skills. These include data entry, social media marketing, writing, and virtual assistant abilities.
  • According to feedback forms from participants, WOD 2 exceeded the expectations of 60% of participants. Additionally, 80% of participants would strongly recommend WOD to their families and friends.
  • 91.5% of participants believed the delivery of information related to digital skills training and online employment was highly effective.
  • 90% of participants have completed all the training modules.
  • 100% of participants have created an online-friendly resume.
  • 100% of participants have identified transferable skills.
  • 100% of participants have at least one profile on an online employment platform.
  • 100% of participants have completed a minimum of one platform-specific assessment.
  • All participants attended at least 80% of the graduating group coaching calls.

As you support us, we can support young Dominicans increase their employable skills and find jobs online. Thank you.

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Organization Information

IsraAID

Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IsraAID
Project Leader:
Zoe Edelman
Tel Aviv, Merkaz Israel
$85,559 raised of $98,500 goal
 
864 donations
$12,941 to go
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