European Volunteers for Response of Emergencies in the Caribbean

All people live on the same planet

“All people live on the same planet”  and in emergency there are not borders
for solidarity, tells us Victoria, a  (National Disaster Management Agency) NADMA’s staff lady                                                                                                  just before greet all of us with a warmest hug.

Those words sounds on our heads returning to the hotel,
meanwhile a wonderful sunset remarks the end of our stay on the spice
island.

Why people becomes volunteer?

The answer, as volunteers ourselves, it
would seem simple, but it isn’t at all.
Lots of reasons pushing a man, a woman, young people to devote part of
their lives to the others, to the community and especially to strange people…                                                                                                          “all people live on the same planet”, as Victoria said.

A Mike Meranski’s song about Grenada, titled “That’s Ivan” says ”                                                                                                                                  “it took houses old

goodbye Grenada, we’ll miss you!

Saturday morning was a kind of sad morning, when we realized, that it was really our departure-day from Grenada. It was a wonderful and great experience for the whole EVRECA-Assessment-Team. We came as strangers and left as friends. The beauty of the various landscapes as well as the warm-hearted encounters with local peoplemade a deep impression on our team again and again. We were able to do a lot and even if our working days were really long, this last day yesterday came far too early. Grenada is a nation with many needs in regard to disaster management and disaster risk reduction issues. From the first meeting last Monday to the last one yesterday we felt the strong desire of everyone we met to strengthen the local disaster management system. Volunteer management was one of the main issues evidenced by nearly everyone we met, from authorities to the single volunteer. Feeling the big support from various local authorities, especially the team from NaDMA, the challenges could be rather easily changed into opportunities and concrete steps. EU Aid Volunteers to strengthen the volunteering system in Grenada or maybe in the whole Caribbean Region sounds great, doesn’t it? And yes, all of us would love to come back as EU Aid Volunteer one day. But as pictures show much more than words, lets have a look on some impressions of our week in Grenada.

 

Assessment Focus – Upcoming Question

12 days left to departure and this is a good moment for preparing some details for our assessment mission.

The one important and big upcoming question was, if we were perhaps to focussed on met and hydrogeological issues during our pre-deployment training. We all know that civil protection is much bigger and that the week in Rome was too short to touch all related arguments. But we should keep an open mind to all possible faces of civil protection that we can find during our mission and not to be too fixed to met and hydrogeological aspects. The following list is not complete and should be considered as starting points for a discussion.

We should keep an eye on:

– Meteorological and Hydrogeological issues (like hurricanes, landslides, local flood phenomena, etc.)

– Measure the status of risk awareness of official structures, organizations and the population in general

– The local system of facing major catastrophic events in general

– The civil protection communication system (between different offices, organizations and communities)

– Health and general civil protection risks from waste-dumps by affecting the ecosystem (groundwater, tapping riverbeds or air pollution)

All of the above mentioned themes offer in succession different possibilities for Team Bravo and Charlie.

The next step will be the preparation for the different meetings and a kind of checklist for each partner to  meet. And lets never forget that our aim is to meet our friends in Grenada and Barbados in order to develop together solutions that will help to improve the local system of civil protection.

Please feel free to comment and to post your point of view and your suggestions.

Markus (Team Alpha)