First responders reminded t be disaster-ready and well-equipped

Training participant Hadassah Bali raises a point during the Training at Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka. Picture: SITERI SAUVAKACOLO

First responders have been reminded to be disaster-ready and to be well equipped to respond to disasters during the Psychological First Aid (PFA) for  PFA Volunteers at Divisional and District levels training organised by the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka.

Addressing the 100 participants at the opening of the workshop, Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations (CAN DO) Fiji Project Manager Daniel Taufaga said CAN DO Fiji had been working closely with its partners to prepare communities for disasters, as opposed to the tradition of only responding during disasters.

“Past practice has seen responding only during disasters and what we have been doing is moving away from there and coordinating with churches to strengthen disaster preparedness with our work focusing on global humanitarian, disaster risk reduction and management and resilience-building work,” Mr Taufaga said.

According to Mr Taufaga, this is one of the main reasons why they are conducting the Psychological First Aid (PFA) training and are thankful for the timely support from The Asia Foundation in funding the training.

The two-day training is being conducted using the recently endorsed training manual for ‘Phycological First Aid for Field Workers in Fiji’ ensuring that these first responders respond using the Principles of PFA without prejudice, discrimination and within competency and abilities.

The training manual was produced by the Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations (CAN DO)Fiji as part of the Australian Humanitarian Partnership.

The training was facilitated by consultant psychotherapist Selina Kuruleca.

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