Return to Happiness

Islands of hope in a sea of devastation

In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian tore through Abaco and Grand Bahama islands in the Bahamas. It was one of the worst storms on record to hit the country, causing widespread damage and forcing 70,000 people from their homes.

IsraAID’s team arrived on the ground on September 5, 2019 and launched an immediate emergency response mission to support affected communities. On New Providence, IsraAID’s Protection Team worked in the capital city, Nassau, supporting the influx of evacuees relocated to shelters from their homes on Abaco and Grand Bahama.

To provide affected children with opportunities to play, learn, and grow, IsraAID’s specialists established 10 Child-Friendly Spaces across three islands to meet chidren’s immediate needs as schools were shut down and routine was disrupted. We recruited and trained local volunteers to facilitate these spaces, focusing on key psychosocial tools to support children in times of uncertainty and chaos.

SPOTLIGHT: BAHAMAS

“As guidance counselors, it’s our job to ensure that the school community is supporting children in as many ways as possible as they transition back to a sense of normalcy. This training was so, so timely. We talked about how to best allow our students to express themselves – especially following the trauma – in telling their stories, and how to pass this training on and train other teachers and staff from our schools.”

Jaclyn Wilson

School Guidance Counselor

The Bahamas

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