TEACHING school children skills that will help them deal with stress during and after disasters is an innovative approach being undertaken by Lautoka-based non-governmental organisation Empower Pacific.
NGO chief executive officer Rhianon Vichta said her organisation had immediately responded in the aftermath of the floods in January and March by building the recovery and resilience of communities.
"We did this by offering a range of small business loans and counselling services and social work to help people get back on their feet and in a stronger position and better prepared for the future," she said. "We're also working with schools in flood-affected areas teaching kids about dealing with stress in crisis situations and giving them information to take home to their families about how to look after kids in a time of crisis and what their needs are, so we're taking a child protection focus in this regard."
Ms Vichta said lessons learnt from the floods had played a vital role in the preparation of programs to empower children to be better prepared during times of crisis. However, she said training has also been extended to all workers from government and non-government agencies.