Still recovering from the destruction caused by Tropical Storm Erika two years ago, the small island of Dominica was hit by Hurricane Maria – a category five storm about a month ago.
The country’s entire infrastructure was left in ruins, leaving its population of approximately 74,000 people without potable water, electricity, shelter and food.
Despite the challenges, Dominica’s Minister of Housing, Reginald Austrie told the News Room that other Caribbean States can use the island’s experience as a model for rebuilding.
“Dominica is a test case. Hurricane is a threat to the region, or other natural disasters and one of those days it could be the turn of another country to face those challenges and so we are saying, if we can resolve or identify some of the critical areas that Hurricane Maria has exposed then the other countries in the region can piggyback on whatever advancement we can make and whatever solutions we can find,” he explained during an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association Conference being hosted at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston in Guyana.
Read more at: News Room
As a result, the OECS Commission and UNICEF partnered to implement a psycho social programme dedicated to children between 5 to 12 years old: Return to Happiness Programme (RTH). The RTH methodology has been used worldwide in countries impacted by a human or natural catastrophe such as major armed conflicts or high magnitude earthquakes. Its goal is to support the recovery of young children by giving them opportunities to share their feelings.
A team of 17 education professionals trained in the Return to Happiness methodology have been sent from Saint Lucia to Antigua and Barbuda on a mission from October 2 to 5. These educators received logistical support from the OECS Commission to ensure air transportation and the necessary accommodations on the ground.
Read more at: Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States