HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF PROJECT
The Haiti Earthquake Relief Project initiated in the days and weeks following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2012 where an estimated 250,000 Haitians perished. TRI was asked by Unitarian Universalist Service Committee(UUSC) to create a multi-phase project to train Haitians in Port au Prince and the Central Plateau in the skills of the Community Resiliency Model.
TRI’s and UUSC’s shared vision was to create capacity within Haiti by training community animators to be trainers in TRI’s community model. We had a shared belief that Haitian TRI-Community trainers could then integrate the skills into their families and wider communities thereby reducing the symptoms of traumatic stress and promoting resilience throughout Haiti.
Thus, between March, 2010 and July,2012, TRI implemented a Train the Trainer program after providing orientations in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Ellen Elgart, TRI Senior Faculty, coordinated the project. A cadre of TRI Master trainers accompanied the team leaders to accomplish the project goals. Team members included Elaine Miller-Karas, Laurie Leitch, Corrie Marcellino, Sherry Wheaton, Nancy Barickman, Julia Gombos, Stephanie Citron, Daniel Bruce, Jessica Klein, Nancy Sokolow, Seth Fuller and Susan Rush. TRI conducted trainings and skill development in both the Central Plateau in Papaye and in Port au Prince.
Initially, we oriented the community members in Port au Prince and Papaye to the community model. As the projects evolved, it was decided to create a Train the Trainer model so that the Haitian participants could become trainers in order to gain proficiency in the model and then to create innovative ways to expose a wider audience to this information. We oriented hundreds of individuals to the Community Resiliency Model skills over the course of the project in both Papaye and Port au Prince.
Participants in the first phase of the project were then asked to be in the Train the Trainer Program. At the end of the 8 phases, 62 Community Resiliency Model trainers in the Central Plateau and Port au Prince completed their training.
TRI was fortunate to also meet other NGOs while we were in Haiti and also individuals in the US heard about our work. Stephanie Citron, PhD worked with HelpAge and we were able to share our work with her and she implemented our community model within HelpAge in Haiti. TRI and HelpAge collaborated on a research project in one of the tent cities in Haiti in 2012. We were able to accomplish the project by hiring trainees from the UUSC project to deliver the interventions. All proper consents were requested and obtained using IRB standards. We are analyzing the data and the preliminary data point indicated a reduction in depression symptoms at a statistically significant level. This study could not have taken place without the support of UUSC bringing TRI to Haiti.
One of the gratifying parts of the project is to hear from the participants how they were using the skills to not only help themselves but their wider community. The following taken out of the March 2012 Field Report reflects the wide reach of the Haitian trainers:
In the Central Plateau:
•Miracksie Noel has taught the skills to 800 people. She has been the volunteer psychologist at the hospital in Hinche. She has taught individuals and groups.
•Yvener Chery works as a volunteer for Association del Ruelle Bruttes. He has taught 32 people in Port au Prince.
•Micheline Noel lives in Cosse in the Central Plane. She is a nurse. She has taught 40 people the skills in the area where she lives.
•Lionel Azemar is from AFVGM, a woman’s group he started in Cap- Haitien. He has taught the TRM-C skills to 65 people, including 50 women from his women’s group.
•Reginald Jean Gilles has trained over 60 people primarily his fellow students.
•Concheta Jean Gilles has trained over 60 people primarily her fellow students.
•Davidson Jean Gille has trained 15 children in an orphanage.
•Jeane Lumanne went to Cap-Haitien, her hometown, and trained 14 people. 3 of her trainees came to the training in Papaye.
•Jolane Nephtalie was trained by Concetta and she was given special
permission by her mother to come with Concetta from PAP for the training. She has now taught over 50 people. (Concetta trained her and she is only 16 years old and is one of the most enthusiastic TRM-C trainers .)
•Makinson Exil is an agronomist, works with MPP, and has shared the skills with 1,000 groups made up of 15 people each. He has trained approximately 1500 people. He reported he has mainly taught farmers the basic skills. He gave examples of when livestock is being distributed and a farmer does not receive the livestock that was hoped for, he uses tracking, grounding and resourcing to help them come back to their resilient zone.
In Port au Prince:
•MPP Group – Vanet and Mouslyn conducted trainings at the ECCO village- part of MPP. They trained about 180 people. Their future plan is to continue to train individuals in the districts that surround Papaye and the Ecco Village
•Groupe D’Actionaid en Appui Psychosocial Leaders are Jude Saint Julis and Offny Dorvillier. There are approximately 20 practitioners who have come out of the PAP TRI Training. This group has been extremely active. The group has conducted trainings at Grace Village, Juvena College, Doctors of the World from France, Scientologistis and the Administration of Public Health. In addition, they worked at Aprosifa, a non-profit in PaP. They trained mostly individuals from the poor neighborhoods of Carrefour…mainly women but some men. The youth are from 17-22 years old. Each training had about 30 people and they just did their 7th training. They have also trained 40 mothers in the skills. This group is becoming a recognized organization in Haiti and plans to be operational with all the proper approvals. They have produced brochures to begin marketing the skills.
•Groupe AAPT-Action d’Assistance Post-Tromatique Leaders are Elsie Nadege Fluerantin and Windsor LaFortune
•COSODEP-Committee of Support for the Development and Growth of Petionnville. It is a psychosocial center. They work with children, adolescents and some adults. Since beginning to use the skills at the center, their trainees have seen positive psychological changes in the clients, especially when working with children and their parents.
•APSH- Aide Psycho-Social d’Haiti-formed by a group from the training. Leaders: Johanne Goin and Yvener Chery . They are training 50 people to work in the Eastern part of Haiti. In addition they have taught the skills to the youth of a Seventh Day Adventist Group and trained individuals in a handicap center.
•Johanne Goin is on the radio program, Women’s Voice, sponsored by Trocaire League pour Femme on a regular basis. Their mission is to speak about women’s participation in the rebuilding of Haiti. She talks about the skills and how they can be used on a regular basis on the radio program that is heard throughout Haiti.
•Paulina Adrian has trained 75 students in the school where she works. She reports that she has taught the skills to parents particularly at the parent-teaching meetings.
Narratives were collected from the Haitian participants at the end of the project to receive their constructive feedback with regard to the project. Attachment 1 contains the responses from the participants.
The following is a recap of some of the accomplishments since the inception of the program:
a.Participants have trained family members and their wider community. The agencies that have received training include Mercy Corps, CSDI, MPPI, Federation of Red Cross, UNICEF, UNDP, Women’s Power, and Social Changes.
b.Participants have shown keen interest and willingness to practice and be part of a consulting group. There were a number of extraordinary TRM practitioners including Jude St. Julies, Jamesley, Jean Julien, Maxso Lane,Winifred Merlande Mervil, Paulina, Chantale Mondesir. Pascal Rimpel, Offny Dorvillier, Ismarthe Laurore
c.The participants shared that they had trained hundreds of people in skills in the camps. It is hard to determine an actual number. They reported that they have given TRM training to either individuals or groupsfrom the following agencies: International Red Cross, AFKG in Grecier, Cultural Research Club, SAJ-VEYEYO, FEKOK, Travailleur Social, Kozpam, APROSIFA, FASCH, OPDEC, KFS, FADEC, MIRIP, GREBED, OFKA, ADEDECO, ODFB, APEC, AVS, ADRA, OIM, CARE
d.There were a significant number of trainees from KOZPAM and it looks like their agency is adapting this as one of their major interventions. One trainee (Jude) shared that CARE said he was one of the best trained psychosocial agents and he attributed part of that to TRM-C. Jude is also writing an article about the skills and Trauma for a magazine that is widely distributed in PAP called BouBon Mag.
e.Two social organizations (Haiti’s equivalent to a nonprofit) have emerged from the trainees. These two agencies are putting together their organization and if they follow through with their plans, they will have a solid group of individuals skilled in the model that will develop associations with a wide variety of organizations in order to reduce traumatic stress.
Narratives from July HERP
Haiti Earthquake Relief Project
The TRI July HERP team asked the following questions to the participants of the training in the Central Plateau and Port au Prince. The following represents a composite of the answers to the questions posed with regard to the TRI training.
1.How has learning the TRM-C model contributed to your life?
“Before learning these skills when I’d be facing a difficult situation, I could not find a way out nor could I help someone else in the same situations. Thanks to these skills, I no longer have this problem.”
“Learning this model has helped me set goals, something that was hard for me to do before. I am a calmer person now because I use the skills for myself. I am less shy now and I don’t underestimate myself anymore.”
“I have more love for others now. I have more respect and understand others better now. I have more self assurance and I am proud of myself.”
“The skills have helped me a lot because they have changed my personality. I have more self-esteem. Now I have a technique I can use when facing difficulty. It’s wonderful!”
“With what I have learned through TRI, I’m able to heal myself when I’m feeling stressed.”
“The model has helped me cope with my sadness. My health has improved since I’ve been using these skills.”
“Learning this model has brought equilibrium to my life: at work, school and in my everyday activities.”
“The skills have helped me recognize different sensations in my body and I am able to help myself in times of need.”
2.How has learning the TRM-C model contributed to your community?
“I use these skills in my community to help different people with problems they may have. Especially after the recent earthquake.”
“I am a teacher and I use my skills on a daily basis. I am currently teaching them every Saturday. These skills has brought the people in my community closer to one another.”
“The people in my community have a sense of assurance knowing I have the skills that can help them now.”
“As soon as I came back from PaPaye, I have been using my skills by training others and giving them the skills needed for success.”
“The skills have helped me in the work I do. I work with handicapped people and people who are sick with Aids/HIV. I use these skills with my patients.”
“These skills have helped me with people who surround me in my life, weather it’s a co-worker, family or friends. If they have a problem, they come to me and call me Mr. Get Well!”
“I have talked with people in my community and taught them to tell what trauma is.”
“I have more friends now that I am able to understand people and myself better.”
“I have helped people in my community who have lost loved ones, get back into their resiliency zone.”
“I use the skills to help people cope with rape, deaths, and conflicts.”
3. How has learning the TRM-C model contributed to your family?
“These skills have helped my family deal better when there is sadness, anger, frustration, fear, arguments, etc.”
“Thanks to these skills we are more closer now and there is more harmony.”
“We no longer get upset over everything anymore. We feel more love between us now.”
“Not long after learning these skills, we lost my mom. I used the skills to comfort my loved ones and myself. Before my mom was our resources, but now she’s gone and it reminds me of the things she did before she left us.”
“The skills help me in the way I function with my family. I understand them better now and if I notice any signs of abnormal attitude, I will use the skills to get them back to their resiliency.”
“We were all traumatized after the earthquake and it was a huge challenge for me. My Aunt lost the use of her hands, but thanks to the skills she recovered fully.”
“My mother is getting older and is having more pain. Showing her the skills has made her pain more lessened.”
There have been many more similar answers to this question.
4.What has your personal experience been like being a part of the TRM-C training program? (I.E. Likes and dislikes)
“What I liked the most is learning how to identify what is happening inside of a person and getting them back to their resiliency zone.”
“As a participant I really loved the way my teachers were professional, patient, and caring towards me. I benefited greatly from their knowledge they have taught me. And I will share it with others.”
“I could see changes inside of me from problems that I didn’t even know they were there.”
“I feel like a whole different person. Now I have become useful to my community.”
“I enjoyed every moment of the training. It was great, interesting, and fun. A time I will never forget.”
“At the trainings I felt like I was part of a family.”
“I love the program and the skills. I dislike that it came to an end.”
“The program was great for me. I love the way TRI welcomed me. There were no culture boundaries. “
“No dislikes, it was all good for me!”
5. Name three or more important things you have learned from being a part of this project.
“ I have learned to help myself with the skills learned. I can also help others with their problems. I can help my community and neighbors whenever needed.”
“Thanks to these skills I have learned to think/reflect. I have learned to preserver. I have learned to live with others, nature and more love for all.”
“ I have learned that no matter your social rank, we are all humans and we can learn to live together. I have learned not to make fun of handicapped people or anyone else with a disability. We all need one another to make life more beautiful.”
“I have learned how to work in a group, to help people in my community, and that helping people makes me feel like a better person.”
“I now know how the human body functions. I now know what trauma is and how to deal with it. And how important it is for people.”
“I have learned self control and how to help someone who is not in their resilience zone. I love myself and others more, plus I feel the need to help out more often.”
“ The program gave me a technique on how to talk to people. How to help myself and that these skills can save someone’s life.”
“I know myself better. I have a better sense of understanding for others and of different sensations.”
“I know what trauma and freeze means. I now know how to prepare myself in case of a natural disaster.”
6. How will you use the skills in the future?
“My goal is to bring these skills to more people in Haiti. Maybe go farther out in the county sides and work with the people there.”
“My group and I will train more people so that more people can benefit from these skills.”
“I would like to get a place of my own and a good team to help me teach these skills to others.”
“We have already formed a group called GAAPS. Which is for psycho social help. We have papers to go to schools and work with them.”
“I am a member of a group called Croupe Anti Stress De Carre Four Feulles and our goal is to help as many people as possible to get back to their resilience zone.”
“I would like to form an organization to help Haiti.”
“I will go to different parts of my country and use the skills to help out other people.”
“I will use the skills to help the people who are closest to me.”
7.Is there anything more you would like to add about our program?
“I thank and congratulate TRI for this institute and for their patience.”
“I hope that when TRI leaves Haiti they will continue to teach people these skills worldwide.”
“I would like it if TRI could do a follow up for me every year or two, for me and my team.”
“I love TRI and their translators a lot because the knowledge they have given us will last a lifetime. I pray that God will bless you all.”
“I would like to say for TRI to continue with the good work because the world needs people like yours.”
“Thanks to TRI for the trainings and for the help you have given to us all.”
“I would like to encourage the team to train around the world. I believe that with these skills, we can change the world.”
“I truly appreciate TRI for all the work they have done. I would like to keep in touch because I feel I could learn so much more from them.”
“I would like to thank all those who took the time to teach us these skills.”