A key part of success and sustainability for the disaster risk reduction activities that comprise our Integrated Resilience and Development in Myanmar, are the Community Volunteers who join the Training of Trainers, so they use their new knowledge, awareness and skill to help their neighbors and village leaders undertake all key aspects of community-based self-help for coping with natural disasters. A key starting point is, of course, risk reduction; and recently, two Volunteers, Daw Than Than Aye and U San Maung had a chance to share their experience in hazard and resource mapping; in creating a historical timeline of past disaster along seasonal weather and activity calendars as a basis for community action, especially evacuation planning and mitigation project design.
Recently, in Ko Ein Tein West village, the Volunteer duo worked hard to organize a series of meetings and training activities for 20 or so other villagers, who were also eager to learn ways and means to be better able to cope with natural disaster, especially flooding, which they face every year. For the first few meetings, CWS team members coached and supported Daw Than Than Aye and U San Maung until they became more skillful in using participatory facilitation methods and more confident in explaining key points of the complex topics they were sharing. One good way they managed to exchange everyone fully was to invite the sharing of personal experiences with disaster, including their own.
At the end of one meetings, both Volunteers happily told CWS colleagues “We really like sharing our new knowledge and important information that we have learned during the CWS-organized Training of Trainers”. A lot of their satisfaction seemed to come from the fact that they could help other community members understand how to prepare themselves for disaster – and especially to help save lives and assets when disasters strike. “Our community will be more resilient now!”, they said. And, with satisfaction for their own roles in helping Ko EinTein West village, and with plans for further follow-up and support, CWS staff are hopeful they are right.
(For more information please contact IKhreusirikul@cwsglobal.org )