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CDP focuses on mental health for children in Mayon response

It has been a month since Mayon Volcano has continued to spew ashes and spill lava leaving 75,000 residents in fear of their protection as they seek shelter in the evacuation camps.

On the 9th of February, 550 at-risk families were identified through a community consultation at Barangay Matnog relocation site. They were in desperate need of kulambo or mosquito nets. Psychosocial first aid and hot meals distribution were also identified as necessity to 250 school children who are using relocation houses as their temporary learning spaces.

With the strong collaboration of the barangay and the local humanitarian response organizations, TABI and Bikol Movement for Disaster Response (BMDR), the Center for Disaster Preparedness launched a humanitarian response operation called Tabang Mayon last February 12-15, 2018, with support from UNICEF and the American Jewish Distribution Committee (JDC).

The much needed 550 pieces of family-size Kulambo were distributed to each family through a voucher-assisted distribution mechanism organized by both the local officials and CDP. Barangay officials volunteered verify and distribute vouchers a day before the actual relief distribution.

Despite gloomy and unfavorable weather, the relief delivery operation received positive feedback. Five RDO counters were attended to by three people composed of a distributor - from CDP or TABI, a validator from the Barangay, and a volunteer, who hands in the kulambo to the beneficiary. The distribution took only 50 minutes. Older persons, pregnant women, and persons with disability were prioritized in the counter. There were also designated monitoring and evaluation team who solicited people’s feedback around. The Core Humanitarian Standard translated in Filipino was also posted for everyone to see, mainly to inform them of their rights.

In the afternoon, a Psychosocial First Aid session was organized for 250 school children. 20 teachers and youth volunteers were also mobilized in the development and implementation of PFA session guide. Fun activities tackling self awareness, building strong family and community relations, managing emotions and harnessing one’s talent and skills were facilitated in a manner that matches the children's learning style and needs. Bags containing coloring books, crayons, and stress ball were distributed. Hot meals were also served as part of the concluding activity.

An after action review with local partners were held, breaking a continued partnership between the local groups and CDP, not only during response work but through strengthening capacity of local responders through psychosocial programming and rights-based humanitarian action and protection.

Earlier this year, CDP also took part in the mobilization efforts by donating in-kind items for Mayon-affected communities channeled thru Citizen Disaster Response Center, a long-time partner who works with disaster-stricken communities in the country.

These interventions are part of CDP’s strong commitment to communities for a better humanitarian action as it implements in its fourth year a child-centered disaster risk reduction project,with UNICEF in Camarines Norte.

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