In a world marked by unpredictability, communities must be prepared for unexpected disasters. Caritas Sri Lanka National Centre, in collaboration with Caritas SED Galle, has taken a proactive step to enhance the resilience of individuals in Sri Lanka through skill development training in search and rescue operations and disaster preparedness. This remarkable training program under the title “Search & Rescue – Disaster Preparedness” was conducted at Tissamahrama Tele Cinema Village from 11th – 13th October 2023, hosted by Caritas SED Galle, aiming to empower Caritas Sri Lanka Network and community members to face adversity head-on.
Building Resilience in the Face of Disasters
The project, “Enhancing Resilience of the Victims of the Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka,” was conceptualized to empower communities and Caritas staff to prepare for any adversity stemming from disasters. With a focus on skill development, this program aimed to equip participants with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate challenging situations.
Participants and Key Collaborators
The training program brought together 31 participants, each with a shared commitment to disaster preparedness. Among the resource persons were government officers from the Hambantota District Management Center (DMC), along with dedicated Navy personnel. The program was conducted under the capable guidance of Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson, the National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka. Additionally, the Director of Vanni Diocese, Rev. Fr. Sabajeewan, and the Acting Director of SED Galle, Rev. Fr. Jesuthasan, played integral roles in facilitating this training.
Key Highlights of the Training Programme
- First Aid Training: Recognizing the importance of immediate medical assistance during disasters, the training equipped participants with essential first aid skills. This ensures that individuals can provide medical support in situations where professional help may be delayed or inaccessible, potentially saving lives in the process.
- Disaster Scenario Simulations: To test their preparedness, participants engaged in a series of outdoor exercises that simulated disaster scenarios. These practical drills challenged participants to apply their newfound knowledge and skills, preparing them for real-life situations.
- Hands-On Mock Disaster Drill: This realistic exercise allowed participants to put their training into action, assessing their ability to respond effectively to a disaster situation.
Caritas Sri Lanka’s skill development training in search and rescue operations and disaster preparedness is a significant step towards building resilient communities in the face of adversity. Although the project, “Enhancing Resilience of the Victims of the Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka,” funded by Misereor is over, the initiatives taken by CSL to empower individuals on disaster preparedness will be continued.