The capacity for managing emergency shelters in Barbados will be enhanced next month when the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development joins with the Office of Unites States Foreign Disaster Assistance for Latin America and the Caribbean (USAID OFDA LAC) to host two workshops for shelter managers at the Accra Beach Hotel.

OFDA, a department of the United States Agency for International Development, will provide technical assistance to the Ministry as part of its ongoing commitment to enhance the ability of emergency shelter managers and provide them with necessary knowledge and skills to perform their duties.

The two-day sessions will be held from Monday, March 7, to Tuesday, March 8 and again from Wednesday, March 9, to Thursday, March 10, beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day.?? Acting Chief Education Officer and Chief Shelter Warden, Laurie King will address the official opening of the workshop on Monday, March 7.

The course topics will include: An Overview of Disaster Risk Management; The Operational and Administrative Aspects of Shelters, as well as Problem Solving Approaches which Shelter Managers can use. A simulation exercise will be planned later in the year to test the level of knowledge gathered by the participants and how effectively they apply the techniques learnt.

The Instructors for the sessions will be drawn from a cadre of nine Barbadian teachers who were trained and certified as Shelter and Shelter Management Instructors, over the past 18 months by USAID OFDA. A representative from the Department of Emergency Management will also do a presentation on the National Programme for Emergency Shelter Management.

According to an official of the Ministry of Education, the training aims to ensure persons who have responsibility for the operational management of emergency shelters are able to determine resource needs, mobilise and secure them; maintain the shelter structure and equipment; prepare the shelter for use; operate the shelter with available resources and establish and maintain effective communication channels with relevant agencies.??

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