Published: 00:00 GMT Standard Time - Thursday 18 November 2010
Barnabas training Pakistani Christians in disaster management
Project(s): 00-634, 41-919
Country/Region: Pakistan, South and East Asia
One of the Barnabas-funded houses under construction
After helping Christian families with immediate flood relief, Barnabas Fund has been equipping local Christian communities in Pakistan with the skills they need to face future disasters.
An expert with many years experience in risk reduction strategies, Wilson Saraj, Barnabas Fund's regional co-ordinator for South Asia, has led Disaster Management Training for our local partners from churches and Christian organisations across the country.
The interactive and practical workshops, which emphasise involving the local community in identifying hazards, vulnerabilities, resources and needs, outline how preparedness can mitigate the effects of a crisis.
Mr Saraj said:
Forewarned is forearmed, and ultimately risk reduction saves lives, livelihoods and resources. Barnabas Fund is not only concerned with picking up the pieces after a major disaster; we also help our local partners to create long-term strategies that will equip their communities better both to prepare for and to cope with disaster.
They applauded this Barnabas Fund initiative to enhance their skills and understanding. The participants were also able to strengthen relationships and establish networks among themselves.
He said that it was a new approach for most of them, which was now influencing their rehabilitation plans. For example, they are looking to rebuild houses destroyed in the flooding on higher ground where they will be less vulnerable in future.
Mr Saraj added:
The key to this is not imposing our ideas on communities but listening to their experiences and local knowledge and helping them to work out solutions for themselves within their available resources.
You can support the work of Disaster Management Training, which Barnabas Fund carries out for our project partners in various parts of the world, by giving to the Disaster Relief Fund (00-634).
Christian families affected by the flooding in Pakistan require ongoing support for their daily food needs while rehabilitation work is carried out. You can sponsor a family (41-919) for just £30 (US$45; €35; AU$54; NZ$65) a month.
For more information on Barnabas Fund's Disaster Management Training, visit "Preparing for the worst".
- That as Pakistani communities are rebuilt after the flooding, careful thought and planning will be given to long-term risk reduction.
- That Barnabas Fund partners who completed the Disaster Management Training will be effective in putting into practice what they have learnt within their communities.
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