Connecting local responses around the world
The earthquake on 25 April 2015 has left people in Nepal in shock. Suffering from loss of their loved ones, devastation of their towns and villages and constant threat of aftershocks, people feel fear and helplessness. Community Life is challenged in times of disaster.
The world is responding by providing relief, and recovering and rebuilding are mostly taking place from an engineering perspective. International hardware experts are doing things for communities.
We are concerned that this response on its own is not leading to sustainable solutions and at its worst even causing severe conflict in communities, creating dependent mindset of community members, decreasing their ability to challenge their situation and is inviting many future consequences for the communities themselves. While the distribution of relief materials have been segmented into political groups and power holders of communities, the emotionally weakened groups and socially powerless communities are still deprived of adaptation.
It is now more than ever crucial to support the (re-)building of the communities themselves, allowing the people in Nepal to rely on their resilience and take ownership of sustainable solutions that have come from their own strengths and resources within their reach. This will allow them to rebuild their Nepal and avoid a dependence on external aid.
We wish communities to take ownership of the challenges that they face. We will support them and accompany them in that.
We have a vision of resilient communities rebuilding Nepal. To support them we will create facilitation teams with in total two hundred and ten Nepalese motivators who will be engaging in the process of making communities more competent and self-reliant. The motivators will be trained as leaders with a motivational attitude. They will use the Community Life Competence Process to work with communities. They will also be trained to use psychological therapies of hypnosis, to motivate community members, to use spiritual and physiological ways of reducing stress and creating a vibrant mindset.
Constellation coaches will share their experiences and continue to mentor the motivators as they accompany communities during at least a one year period. The training will arouse vibrant leaders out of the passionate participants.
Hereby we appeal everyone to share your ideas that can act as an agent of bridge for our vision. We also appeal everyone to support us from your network and your expertise.
I totally agree with Mr. Bhatta we are also helping people by coordinating with local government bodies because they are the one who knows about the villages and our community very well. We decided that if any organization or anyone personally support to help we coordinate with VDC secretary and local clubs so because of that we can conduct relief work smoothly w/o controversies.
This response comes courtesy Taos associates community.
Dear Sally and Ritu,
It is indeed a challenge, but an opportunity too, for medical/psychiatric
professionals, psychologists, activists, volunteers, family members and
friends to heal the 'wounds'. I would like to share my own experiences of
participating in the psycho-social rehabilitation of the survivors of
Kutch earthquake (also know as Kachchh or Bhuj earthquake) of 2001 in
Often in the post-disaster scenario, potential helpers think that it is
only the medical professionals who can be of some help to the distressed
survivors (often termed as psychiatric patients of posttraumatic stress
disorder) . But, that belies the reality that for most of the survivors,
distress primarily has relational and political dimensions. Helpers'
empathic connect and the state's initiative to ensure social/economic
justice for survivors in the post-disaster scenario are the key to healing
or rehabilitation. I have two recommendation based on my research:
1. As pointed out by Saunak, relief money and material are definitely the
need of the our but its mindless distribution based on survivors'
social/religious groups can divide the community at a time when the
community is the biggest resource for their healing. My article
further details. Having them participate in some income-generation
activity rather than simply providing the relief money and material for
long is the need of the hour. This may help counter dependency/passivity
observed among the survivors.
2. Creating a space of the survivors (particularly those who suffered loss
of a family member) to share is another challenge. Helpers' (could be
medical/psychiatric professionals, psychologists, activists, volunteers,
family members or friends) genuine concern may facilitate the process of
sharing by the survivors. This sharing of experiences in the humanizing
space often has a healing impact of the survivors. This narrative healing
become possible through the shared cultural/religious beliefs of the
survivors about life/death/distress. For details, please see the article,
What I have shared above have been the observation of many other
researchers working on qualitative methodology or disaster mental health.
I hope this helps. I am also hopeful that UN/WHO that might be planning
psycho-social rehabilitation are aware of the significant role of
cultural/religious healing process as mentioned above.
With best wishes,
Kumar Ravi Priya
Associate Professor of Psychology
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur,
Kanpur - 208016, Uttar Pradesh, INDIA
Web page: http://home.iitk.ac.in/~krp/
I sincerely respect and appreciate all of your ideas and experiences. I would like to share about the 5 steps, which I learn in a training. May be, we Nepali are in the first step of knowing Earthquake (EQ) "First Step" now it's time to move on to the next step which is self awareness to our self about the disaster. Many organizations, country, and people are helping us, but now it's time to raise our self and have ownership to build our country in better shape. I am following personally those five steps to rebuild myself after this disastrous situation. I am starting with my family. I would like to request all of my country people to have ownership and compassion.
We will rise again. :)
PS: Ritu thank you so much for you sharing, much appreciated. :)
A response from facebook
Dhruba Paudyal Ms. Rituu At Constellation thank you so much for sharing the article on recent earthquake issue. I agree with most of the issues raised. Definitely the bereaved communities need support but establishing an instition/system/policies is equally important. Political bipartisan emerged in the distribution of relief materials from the outsiders knowingly or unknowingly. That was refused by some communities while rest didn't. Some reputed international communities distributed even nonedible food items. I agree with the opinion builder in the issue of creating dependency. It was suspected before requesting outside support but ethical part was solicited with the supporting parties. Slowly and slowly the communities are gearing up to build on their own.
Hope things shall be improved soon.
My name is Michelle Strutzenberger. I am interested in sharing your story with our networks, through a site called www.axiomnews.com, but only if you think this might be a benefit to you. The story would focus on what you are experiencing and the different possibilities that you envision with respect to creating community-led responses to the earthquake. If you are interested, please email me at michelle(at)axiomnews.com.