Written by CorpsAfrica/Maroc Volunteer Mr. Mohamed Ouzammou
September 8, 2023. During our pre-service training (PST) with CorpsAfrica
in Marrakech, a big earthquake happened in the nearby Al-Haouz region, which caused a lot of changes in the training plan and made everyone worried about our safety. To keep us safe, the CorpsAfrica staff decided we should go back to our homes until things got better in the areas affected by the earthquake.
Later, we got an email that brought some good news. About a special three-week training program focused on helping in times of disaster to provide comfort to people who’ve been through tough times.
This report chronicles the rigorous three-week training program focused on disaster recovery and Psychology First Aid, conducted in Azrou City from 30 October to 19 December 2023.
Training Program Highlights:
The extensive training program sought
to equip us with the knowledge, tools, and resilience needed to effectively
assist earthquake-affected communities
in Al Haouz province. The following
sections outline the specific areas of
learning and skills development:
Understanding the core principles of
Sphere standards were central to our training. These standards encompass education, food security, water safety, protection,
and shelter. This knowledge is essential for a comprehensive
approach to sustainable development and effective crisis response.
We engaged in practical workshops on personal stress management. The ability to maintain resilience in high-pressure situations is invaluable
for disaster relief and community support.
Prevention and Nonviolent Communication: Recognizing the importance of ethical conduct, we studied the prevention of sexual exploitation and the significance of nonviolent communication in fostering community empowerment
and resolving conflicts peacefully.
Understanding the psychological impact of disasters was an essential component of our training.
We learned to recognize signs of trauma and apply emotional intelligence to address the emotional and psychological needs of affected communities, ensuring a holistic approach to recovery.
We were educated on the intricacies of landslide mitigation and earthquake
preparedness. This knowledge equipped us to proactively address environmental
hazards, ultimately enhancing community safety.
One of the key aspects of post-earthquake recovery is the provision of emergency housing. Our training included in-depth knowledge of rubble management and other critical elements that contribute to the rebuilding process.
We had an activity in the construction field that taught us some good ways to do this:
- Clearance and Removal: Learning how to safely clean up and remove the broken stuff from the places that got hit by the earthquake. This means working together with different groups like local leaders, helpers, and the people who live there.
- Recycling and Reuse: Figuring out ways to use the broken bits in a smart and earth-friendly manner. Like, instead of just throwing away pieces of buildings, we can find clever ways to use them again. This not only helps us make less trash but also makes sure we’re using things wisely while rebuilding.
- Risk Assessment: Checking carefully for any dangers that might be hiding in the debris. We need to make sure that the people cleaning up and the folks who live there stay safe during the cleaning process.
- Planning to Build Again: Putting together a plan for cleaning up the mess as part of the bigger plan to rebuild everything. The sessions stressed how important it is to think about cleaning up the broken parts as a key step in making the area better quickly.
For CorpsAfrica Volunteers & Readers
The unexpected twist in our training journey, caused by the earthquake, was not just a challenge but an opportunity for growth and impact. We now have a unique skill set and a deeper understanding of disaster recovery, equipping us to provide essential support to the earthquake-affected villages in Al Haouz province.
– As CorpsAfrica Volunteers,
we are not only contributing to the recovery of these communities but also learning the invaluable lesson that resilience and adaptability are at the core of effective service. We are a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of collective effort.
Our journey as Volunteers may not always follow the expected path, but with each unexpected turn, we gain new skills, insights, and a deeper connection to the communities we serve.
The transformation that we have experienced during this training is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our team.
We stand prepared and motivated, ready to make a lasting impact in the lives of those affected by the earthquake. Together, we can rebuild not only houses but also hope and resilience. Our journey continues, and our commitment remains unwavering.