Caritas Dominica is pleased to announce the launch of a new project aimed at Youth Empowerment and Disaster Resilience. Through Caritas Antilles with support from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the Youth Emergency Action Committees (YEAC) project is being implemented in vulnerable communities in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada, and Dominica. This project is based and built upon the experiences and successes of the Community Risk Reduction through Youth Emergency Action Committees in Urban Neighbourhoods of Kingston, Jamaica project (YEAC, 2009-2011). The YEAC Phase VII Project focuses on Youth-Led Community Action for Increased Disaster Resilience. On Sunday June 2, 2019 members of the first project area in Dominica – YEAC Pt. Michel were officially commissioned at the La Salette Roman Catholic Church in Pt. Michel.
The Youth Emergency Action Committees, YEACs are organized community youth groups that will be trained and prepared to be the first respondents within the community in case of a natural or manmade disaster. They are volunteers working in emergency preparedness and response. This organization believes in molding and nurturing the next generation of volunteers with an increased emphasis on capacity building with the encouragement from forged partnerships. YEAC Dominica endeavors to empower youth by granting them opportunities and support to accomplish all forms of humanitarian activities and disaster responsiveness. Membership is open to youth and young adults age 16-35 from all faith backgrounds.
Planned activities for YEAC Phase VII will support vulnerable communities within the four participating countries to be better prepared for disasters and to create sustainable community disaster resilience structures by engaging youth through:
- Training for members in CPR and first aid, community mapping, emergency response, leadership, life skills, and family disaster plan preparation.
- Conducting internal drills and simulations, social, recruitment, and fundraising events.
- Establishing and strengthening the relationship between the YEACs and key stakeholders.
- Production of materials such as disaster risk management checklists and emergency kit lists for distribution to households.
- Convening of community meetings and awareness raising events.
- Conducting household (HH) level sessions with heads of HHs to design household emergency plans.
Caritas, which is Latin for “Love” is the humanitarian arm of the Catholic Church- reaching out to the poor, vulnerable and excluded, regardless of race, gender or religion, to build a world based on justice and fraternal love. Caritas reflects the social mission and guided by the core values and key principles of the Catholic Social Teaching. The Coordinator of Caritas Dominica is Deacon Curtis Victor.