JIS News

The Child Development Agency (CDA), in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, is in the process of mapping out a recovery plan for the 61 Children’s Homes and Places of Safety, which will include providing psycho-social support for children and staff.
Speaking with JIS News, Alison Anderson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CDA said that although the children in the various facilities fared well in terms of personal safety, there was a need to provide counselling in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Miss Anderson said that in talking to the younger children, many said they slept through the event. She said the older children “perhaps will need help”, especially those in Manchester, where there was severe damage to some homes.
“One house father spoke of grabbing at children, holding them tight and running with them to a safe area in the middle of the heavy winds. That could not have been easy,” the CEO recounted.
“I cannot overestimate what it took for those who were on duty with the children and elsewhere to make sure that they were safe,” she added.
Miss Anderson pointed out that staff would be included in the psycho-social care support, informing that they too had suffered during the onslaught of Hurricane Ivan.
“Of course children are our priority, but you cannot have staff who are not 100 per cent looking after the children, so we are moving on both fronts to provide some psycho-social support in our child care facilities,” she explained.
The CEO also noted that the emergency food supplies had been distributed to all the homes that reported to the Agency. “We also had rapid response for water and most facilities in the South-east region have reported that both water and light are back,” she said.
“In the Southern and Western Region, I doubt that they will be having light anytime soon,” she added. In light of this, she appealed for donations of small generators to be distributed to the facilities in need.
After the completion of the assessment of damage to the facilities, Miss Anderson said the Agency would endeavour to mobilize the funds and resources for infrastructure and structural redevelopment.

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