To mark the annual International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, October 13, our global team is celebrating deep connections in the communities where we work, because disaster resilience is ultimately a local and long-term effort.
This week, we are taking part in rich conversations about lessons learned and what the future could look like. Here’s a peek:
In northern Haiti, our local team organized an awareness campaign in front of Cap-Haitien City Hall on the theme of preparing for disasters. The program featured local youth in our Timoun an Aksyon effort and included: performances by youth slam winners, an exhibition of disaster-themed paintings by youth, a skit about the 2010 earthquake, folk dance, video shorts, and invited speakers who are national experts and local leaders. Youth also shared life-saving first aid techniques with the public. Of course, there was music: a duo sang "We Are the World" and everyone joined at the end in a song about building resilience. There was a large turnout of youth, parents, school principals, scouts, and first responders including firefighters, Red Cross, and police.
The Cap-Haitien event on Oct. 10 with schoolchildren presenting. People were invited via flyers and musical audio announcements on WhatsApp and sound trucks.
In southern Haiti, Gefthé Dévilmé, our Field Officer in Anse-à-Veau, is one of the speakers in the 2021 Haiti Earthquake Reconnaissance Briefing Webinar, part of the Learning from Earthquakes program of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). The August 2021 earthquake occurred near where Gefthé lives, and he has been coordinating several of our efforts to support post-earthquake recovery and resilience in the region.
In the Dominican Republic, team member Delka Espinal conducted classroom activities for schoolchildren and teachers about how to prepare for earthquakes and other hazards. Activities were held at schools in Villa Bisono, an area with very high seismic hazard.
Students participate in disaster-related activities in Villa Bisono, Dominican Republic.
In South Asia, GHI hosted two webinars for hundreds of university students in Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Myanmar. Topics were Earthquake Risk Mitigation for Hilly Regions, and The Role of Scenarios in Disaster Risk Mitigation. The presentations featured team members Upama Ojha from Nepal, Yeshey Lotay from Bhutan, Hari Kumar from India, and Janise Rodgers and Heidi Stenner from the U.S.
In India, Hari Kumar, our Regional Coordinator for South Asia, is presenting on GeoHazards International’s work on landslide hazard in Aizawl, India. This webinar is organized by the Kerala Institute for Local Administration on Hill Area Development (in partnership with GeoHazards International and our sister organization in India, GeoHazards Society).
Our sister organization GeoHazards Society in India will also host a webinar on School Disaster Safety, in partnership with India’s National Institute for Disaster Management.
We are fortunate to work alongside many local visionaries and leaders. Hardship, inequities, and environmental injustice may exacerbate disasters in their communities, but they leverage opportunities and local strengths. We support them in working toward a safer future for all, in which people are better informed, prepared, and protected ahead of disasters.
“It is important to do everything we can to help local leaders succeed and to become champions of resilience. We need more champions at all levels.”
- Hari Kumar, GHI Regional Coordinator for South Asia
Veronica Cedillos, President & CEO
P.S. For more on our DRRDay activities, follow us on social media.
Bhutan · Dominican Republic · Haiti · India · Nepal · U.S.A.