In a world continuously struck by tragedies, some may forget the past great emergencies. However, often the problems remain and so an efficient response cannot be limited only at the time of the emergency, but has to continue even when media stop talking about it. One example of this is Nepal.
In April and May of 2015, severe earthquakes hit Nepal. The epicenter of this earthquake was on the border of Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk, two villages in Nepal. Many were killed and over half a million houses were destroyed, and thousands displaced from their homes. Sixteen months later, most villages are still in ruins and many continue to live in IDP (Internally displaced person) camps.
From Nepal, Father Biju Joseph, MI, describes:
“When we visited them, we found the people in the village living in very unhygienic condition - no roads to reach their home; temporary constructions made with tin sheets roof and lacking basic essentials as shelter; no proper sanitation and no electricity. Most of the families complained about safety, since the houses and premises were without proper doors or fences. Fear of snakes and dangerous insects in their surroundings added to their insecurity and gave them sleepless nights. Despite life being so tough for them, they continue to survive tenaciously with the hope that one day they can go back to their previous lives. We met a man 90 years old, who had seen even bigger and more destructive disasters in Nepal. Despite those horrible memories, he lives happily focusing on living a day at a time. Earthquakes do not just wreak havoc on land; they also disrupt people's lives in remote villages. Most of the families suffer from scarcity of water and lack of sufficient food. They also live in a very unhygienic environment. In spite of this, it was amazing to see just how many people smiled at us and enjoyed our presence when we visited them.”
In the last several months, CADIS, in partnership with Caritas, worked with CBPSF (community based psychosocial support facilitators) to understand the concerns and needs of the villagers. Based on the information gathered during the fieldwork, we developed a program to provide psychosocial support during emergency, recovery and reconstruction. In July 2016, CADIS conducted a community based psychosocial training for facilitators over a two-week period. The facilitators were selected from four districts- Sidupalchowk, Sindhuli, Kavre and Dolakha based on information gathered during focus group discussions. Group discussions were conducted at the ward and toll level to ensure representation of advantaged and disadvantaged groups, different caste/ethnic groups, men, women, and communities from the remote areas.
To help the displaced build their life back to normalcy, we need to promote a sense of psychosocial well-being. CADIS believes that this can be achieved by providing psychosocial support and through a coordinated effort of all parties involved in the disaster relief programs.