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In the year 2004 an earthquake shook Bam city near Kerman,Iran. More than 40000 people were killed. It was a disaster. Our NGO, Cildren Friendly Association along with our center after lots of thinking and talking went to Bam.
We knew being with children and working with them to make them tolerate the loss, helps both the child and the care giver. so started gathering as many as young girles and young mothers who had lost their little siblings or their children and started to work with them while empatizing indirectly with them. we were singing, talking, telling stories , talked and talked and talked to each other. that was the greatest help we could offer. when those people sang and talked they felt better . so in this way we had succeeded to do both, helping the children and helping the mothers and young girls in different communities. We never knew that working with children can be so healing to people who had experienced the loss.
Right now the most urgent needs are basic needs such as food, water, clothing. After that, then one can start thinking about sending appropriate play materials, toys. The trained ECE people on the ground would be the best ones to work with young children of Haiti...conducting informal playgroup sessions to start off with; including parenting sessions if necessary. We have to be very careful that no one is rushing in to organise things that may not necessarily be what the children and families of Haiti need right now.
Thank you for sharing. We will talk about how we can help at our monthly teacher's meeting February 7th.
We have enjoyed your magazine since you began many years ago in Belmont.
You have made Early Education recognized throughout the world.
Thank you for your hard work.
Happy New Year to you and your family.
Together we will help Haiti during this difficult time for the families and children.
I work with a group of parents and their children in an Aboriginal Infant/Family Development Program. We talked as a staff of what we could do to help Haiti and wanted to also include the families in our program. We know that if we give people the opportunity to be generous then they will especially when they feel compassion or empathy towards others in crisis. We have started a change jar titled "$CHANGE$ for Change for Haiti". Even though a lot of our families are on the poverty line they are digging deep to pull out change and add to the jar. Not only are we helping Haiti we are modelling generosity!
I agree with those who said we must be careful in the direction taken. As we know, children who are hungry cannot learn. Survival is priority. We cannot assume that children in Haiti are eating even one meal a day. The emotional trauma children have experienced is another critical aarea that can be addressed by trained staff once hunger needs are met. It is also important to remember the vast majority of adults in Haiti have never received any formal schooling, making parent education equally - or more - important. As first steps, I support financial contributions to the trained agencies on the ground who are experienced in emergency relief efforts....even finding orphaned children will take time.