On Saturday, 29 July a group of 36 persons completed a workshop on Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment held by the Cayman Islands Red Cross.
The training, which kicked off the DIPECHO V project which the CIRC has embarked on until February 2007, was facilitated by Jill Marie St. John, Sub-Regional Branch Officer, and Marylee Ellis, Disaster Management Officer, of the International Federation of Red Cross’ Sub Regional Office in Port of Spain.
‘VCA is a methodology that teaches participants tools to help gather information from residents on what they perceive the risks and resources of their community to be, and it also helps them to present that information in a way that is very people-friendly and easy to comprehend,’ DIPECHO V Project Manager, Carolina Ferreira, explained in a press release.
The first four nights of the workshop, from 25-28 July, were composed of classroom exercises, where participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the tools.
On 29 July, they had a chance to put the classroom theory to practice by going out to a community in George Town and gathering the information from the residents of that community.
‘We are very fortunate to have so many persons who are so committed to their community that they are willing to give up so much of their time to this project,’ said Jondo Obi, Branch Director of the CIRC.
The volunteers, who are residents of East End, Bodden Town, George Town and West Bay, will begin to put their new skills to use in the upcoming weeks and will be needing assistance from the residents of these four communities to move the project along.
‘We were asked to identify four communities for this project, and thus the reason why we have picked communities within these four districts,’ explained Ms. Ferreira.
‘However, we are hoping that the successful completion of this project and the establishment of strong Community Disaster Response Teams in these four communities will spark interest for internal and external funding to expand this programme not only within Grand Cayman but also to the Sister Islands.’