Building Safer Local Communities in South Caucasus
Armenian Red Cross Society implemented First phase of “Building Safer Local Communities in South Caucasus” 15 months duration, which started at April 2010. The project is co-funded by European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO), Danish and Icelandic Red Cross, in a consortium with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Nine communities and 32 schools of Shirak region were selected as a target for the implementation of the project. Target communities were Arapi, Nor Kyank, Sarnaghbyur, Beniamin, Anushavan, Azatan, Panik, Pemzashen, Mets Mantash. Beneficiaries of the project are approximately 14.963 schoolchildren and their relatives, about 44.900 persons, as well as 24.965 inhabitants of the 9 communities.
The project activities are conducted the following four directions:
- Development of community capacities in disaster preparedness and disaster response
- Enhancement of public awareness through educational programs on Disaster Preparedness, especially in schools
- Enhancement of regional coordination on Disaster Management
- Enhancement of cooperation on Disaster Management in the South Caucasus
Within the frames of the first direction of the project Hazard, Vulnerability, and Capacity Assessment (HVCA) was conducted in 9 target communities. Based on the VCA results ARCS team, jointly with Shirak Regional Rescue Service, developed VCA reports per each community, which included Disaster Preparedness and Response plan of action and community risk areas mapping.
Nine Community Teams (CT) were formed in Shirak region consisting of 180 members (20 members in each team). To provide the CTs with corresponding knowledge in the sphere of Disaster Risk Management and ensure a high level of their preparedness, ARCS organized the theoretical and practical trainings titled “Disaster Risk Management Skills”, “Provision of Humanitarian Assistance (“Relief”) and “Rescue Skills and First Aid”. As the final stage of the training ARCS, jointly with Shirak regional Rescue Service of RA Ministry of Emergency Situations and “LORE” rescue team NGO, organized one day simulation drill for each of 9 community teams. Special uniforms (jacket, trousers etc.) and equipments (helmet, axe, shovel, speaker etc.) were distributed to 9 CT members. Also, one-day workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was organized in Shirak region for regional partners.
Within the frames of the second direction of the project ARCS team, jointly with “LORE” rescue team, conducted ToT for 150 teachers from 32 targeted schools of Shirak region.
The DRR related issues, first aid and other similar issues were included in the agenda. Further, each trained teacher from targeted 32 schools organized local trainings with 100 pupils. During the training educational materials on DRR and Climate Change were distributed to each pupil as well. Later, pupils developed their Family Disaster Plan and participated in-school competitions organized in all targeted schools. All 96 winners of the competition were awarded incentive prizes. Family Disaster Plan final regional competition and public event dedicated to December 7 was organized.
Within the frames of the third direction of the project Shirak Regional Coordination Commission was formed and several meetings were held. Also, stakeholders’ mapping of Shirak region was developed. Moreover, ARCS with Shirak regional and local authorities developed DRR Shirak Regional Coordination Commission Regulation.
Within the frames of the fourth direction of the project the Armenian Red Cross Society, OXFAM GB Armenia and UNICEF organized two meetings for jointly presenting the mid-term and final results and achievements of the programme. Meetings were organized in 9 targeted communities with the population to present the mid-term and final results and achievements. Also, regional cooperation meetings were organized in Georgia. During the meetings ARCS representatives shared their best experience and discussed the process and achievements of the project.
While implementing the project ARCS cooperated with state and non-governmental structures: RA Ministry of Emergency Situations, RA Ministry of Education, MoES Seismic Protection Service and Crisis Management State Academy, regional and local authorities of Shirak Marz, Shirak Rescue Service, “LORE” rescue team NGO an Emergency Channel Information Center.