This week we’re continuing our look at how Dominica is rebuilding its education system in the aftermath of Maria and preparing for the coming hurricane season. The European Commission has provided UNICEF, working with the Government of Dominica and IsraAID, with 500,000 euros to support the education sector across all 72 schools. A crucial part of this is training teachers to train students in a disaster risk management plan.

I feel very terrified that the hurricane season is near because most of our homes are not ready, no one is ready. – Ahijah Williams

Ahijah Williams, 15, goes to North East Comprehensive School in Wesley, one of the first schools to benefit. He talks about why he’s doing the training:

“I want to learn how to prepare for a hurricane and what we do after a hurricane. It is my responsibility to help because as a member of the Dominica Cadet Corps I am trained to help others. After the passage of Hurricane Maria my school was heavily damaged, there was a lot of destruction, flooding. I don’t think my school was well prepared.

I feel very terrified that the hurricane season is near because most of our homes are not ready, no one is ready. We don’t discuss the hurricanes but we are scared that the season is back again. During Hurricane Maria I was extremely horrified to hear those winds howling like wolves in the sky and houses flying away and people dying. I would like to be more ready this time: prepare for the season, stock up on food, repair houses.

We haven’t really gone deep into this training yet but I am looking forward to learning safe practices. It’s going to be different this time. If we are more prepared we can resume schools early so that everyone can get back to their normal selves. We started school again in October. It’s a bit weird because we don’t have internet or light, we have water though. School is not that tough. If your mind is set to your work you can accomplish anything”.

This post was originally published on UNICEF Eastern Caribbean’s Facebook page.

 

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