• Yolanda survivors have DepEd’s psychosocial support

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    STUDENTS from the areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda continue to receive psychosocial intervention to fully recover from the trauma left by the deadly typhoon in 2013.

    Education secretary Armin Luistro stressed the importance of psychosocial support in rebuilding the lives of Yolanda survivors during the turn-over ceremony for Enhanced and Improved Teachers’ Manual on Psychosocial Interventions for Secondary School-aged Students During Disasters and Emergency Situations Thursday.

    “At the end of the day, the real partnership happens when there is a listening side and a sincere desire to support considering the fact that it’s the people on the ground who will have to rise. Life has to move on and life has to be better. And this project is a commitment to make life better for those affected by disasters,” Luistro said.

    The enhanced manual is a result of DepEd partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco), the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) and the funding support of the Official Development Assistance of the Government of Japan.

    “Recovery and rehabilitation is not something that happens overnight. This particular project is very special for us. It addresses areas that are sometimes disregarded—especially when it comes to recovery. This is essentially talking about things that people don’t usually discuss and providing support for students, emotionally and psychologically,” Reynaldo Laguda, DepEd Undersecretary for Administration and Finance, said.

    Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Unesco Jakarta Office director and representative, said Unesco is actively working with the Department of Education by providing students and teachers with practical goals.

    The DepEd and partners have conducted the pilot teachers’ training for specific post-disaster psychosocial support to enhance the technical skills for psychosocial interventions of the mentors.

    “When you are victimized by a trauma and you lose everything, sometimes you lose even the dreams because they seem very unreachable. Because you’re starting from scratch. What we’re trying to do is get them to dream again,” Dr. Maria Regina Hechanova, training facilitator from PAP, said.

    NEIL A. ALCOBER

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