An Ounce of Prevention …

CWS Indonesia | September 19, 2018

Yohanis Toding facilitating a discussion with community members during the disaster management plan and action plan workshop. Photo: CWS

Yohanis Toding started working for his local government in North Belau village in 1999 when he was 28; and, since 2005, he has been the Deputy Chairman of the North Belau village parliament***, which led to his election as Chairman of the North Belau Village Disaster Preparedness Team last year. “Joining activities in partnership with our local group PUSBINLAT Motivator of the Toraja Church, and CWS, has really widened my horizons. I feel ready to support disaster management activities in our community now – and not just response after a disaster.”

To help communities to move beyond “just response” and expand their preparedness and mitigation work, CWS organized a training program for facilitators, like Yohanis, so they could learn more. For example, during their time together, training participants learned how to (i) gather and understand information about the risks and vulnerabilities they face from climate change and worsening weather, and to (ii) fully appreciating their communities’ collective wisdom, knowledge and ability (capacity) to act. After learning about what kinds of information to collect, and places to get it, Yohanis could help North Belau village be better prepared for natural disasters, large and small.

In talking about his experience and learning so far, Yohanis said, “Apart from gaining new knowledge, I learned how to lead activities in my community and to organize the step-by-step process do develop Disaster Management and Community Action plans. And, this experience with one very specific focus has encouraged me to use my new knowledge in my other daily work in local governance. I am grateful to CWS for their assistance in facilitating the development of the North Belau Disaster Management Plan and Community Action Plan; these will serve as our guide for action when need and, importantly, in including funds for disaster management preparedness in our 2019 village budget.”

***Group members are appointed, as defined in Indonesia’s 2014 Village Law, to (i) discuss and agree on village regulations together with the village head; (ii) collect and channel the aspirations of the villagers; and (iii) supervise the performance of the village head.

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