Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria

by Programa de Educacion Comunal de Entrega y Servicio, Inc. Vetted since 2017 Staff Favorite
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
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
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
Clowns W/O Frontiers visit to elementary school
Clowns W/O Frontiers visit to elementary school

We are happy to report our prevention programs have been very active this semester, and we have been noticing more smiles among our participants. 

Friends and allies were key in this process, by collaborating with events like the visit of Clowns Without Frontiers (they came back to Punta Santiago to visit specifically the elementary school in our neighborhood), and the recent Christmas parade and toy drive.

During the semester, we had laugh therapy sessions for parents and tutors, and workshops on managing emotions -- also for adults, as we know parents and teachers need these tools in order to teach children how to cope with life's challenges. All this happened while our social workers kept on their work with children through our programs.

We look forward to a Holiday season that our children will enjoy -- since so many of them did not have electric power and other services at home for last year's Christmas. 

Thanks to the Global Giving team and to all our donors for helping us teach local children about resilience.

We wish you a blessed 2019!

Laugh therapy for adults
Laugh therapy for adults
Christmas parade and toys delivery
Christmas parade and toys delivery
The Perez Family - a theater experience
The Perez Family - a theater experience

There are so many experiences that can help our children and youngsters learn about emotional resilience when facing a disaster. 

The arts are particularly relevant. That is why one of our recent events was a theater piece about the Perez Family -- a family like mine or yours that faces the challenge of getting ready for a hurricane. The parents, the grandmother, a boy and a teenager made us laugh and also think about our own experience. The show was enjoyed by children and their families, who gathered at our basketball court on a Friday afternoon to watch the story and learn something about how the disaster has transformed their own families.

The students of our alternative high school also had a unique opportunity to reflect on Hurricane Maria's anniversary. They were invited by the local Center for Investigative Journalism to listen to community leaders and journalists talk about what worked and what went wrong in media coverage one year ago. After listening to panelists, students were challenged to design the newspaper cover and headlines they would have liked to see the day after Hurricane Maria. A news editor guided them in recalling the stories and the images they remembered, and stating the ones they would have preferred to see in the news as a reflection of their communities.

We continue to look into diverse and creative opportunities to teach our children about emotional resilience. Please donate to this project so we can help them grow into healthy and emotionally strong adults.

Thank you!

Students at journalism event about Hurricane Maria
Students at journalism event about Hurricane Maria
Graduation day at PECES
Graduation day at PECES' alternative high school

Graduation ceremonies are events filled with emotions. This year's graduation at our alternative high school was even more special, as these graduates showed so much persistence in working towards their goals. They took classes at the basketball court when classrooms were closed because of the lack of electric power. They helped with the distribution of food and other articles after Hurricane Maria. And they put all their hearts into the emotional resilience workshops offered to them to help in the healing process.

We are so proud of them! And so thankful for all who have helped make their dreams come true.

Please share this story so your friends and family can contribute to this program and help us in educating emotionally strong children and teenagers. 

class meeting at the basketball court
class meeting at the basketball court
Clowns Without Borders
Clowns Without Borders

The end of the school semester calls for some reflection on the needs of our children, the hard work of our people and the unparralled support we have received from so many people.

Eight months after Hurricane Maria, many students still have no electric power at home. But for months they carried on with school work and other events. Our team has worked intensely so program participants could keep up with their academic learning but also manage the emotional challenges of the impact of Maria in their lives. The support of Clowns Without Borders, local services like Play and Learn, and many others has been key to a successful semester.

As the new hurricane season approaches, we need to strenghen participants' emotional skills, help them manage the stress of the upcoming season, and continue providing the opportunities they need to thrive in adverse conditions related to poverty, parents' unemployment, and more. 

We want to thank everyone that has made this work possible, and invite you to share our photos and stories, so many more can be part of our dream of healthy and happy children in our community. 

Sport Clinics
Sport Clinics
Working in community mapping
Working in community mapping
Play and Learn program with local TV characters
Play and Learn program with local TV characters
 

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Organization Information

Programa de Educacion Comunal de Entrega y Servicio, Inc.

Location: Humacao - Puerto Rico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @pecesinc
Project Leader:
Nancy Madden
Punta Stgo, Puerto Rico

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