Religious communities have tremendous potential to contribute to this. Here are guidelines on how to do that more effectively, alongside data on how to facilitate the integration of these contributions with the formal disaster-response system. Specifications Publisher Templeton Press. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product.
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Customer Service. In The Spotlight. Shop Our Brands. All Rights Reserved. Cancel Submit. How was your experience with this page? Needs Improvement Love it! They are also often still involved in helping a community recover long after outside NGOs and UN bodies have gone home. Rehman made this point at the Parliament forum in relation to the Kashmir earthquake: it was local Islamic NGOs and volunteers from across the faith community that came to the aid of victims, speeding up the response process significantly.
After the Indian Ocean tsunami, unaffected temples in Phang Nha, Thailand, became places of refuge for survivors, with monks caring for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of survivors and conducting cremation ceremonies for the dead. Local religious institutions are often in a better position to respond than governments, particularly where governments are characterised by corruption and incompetence.
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Following the Aitape tsunami, local, provincial and national governments failed to provide relief, leaving a space that was filled largely by the Catholic Church, which even constructed basic infrastructure such as roads and bridges in order to deliver aid effectively. In Fiji, the Church provides disaster-affected Christians with food and provisions over and above government aid. Churches are able to channel resources from overseas counterparts and provide support on all levels, including reconstruction of housing, relocation and limited financial aid.
Religious bodies and structures often wield power and authority. Since they are also often at the forefront of development and DRR efforts, it is integral that development practitioners and disaster workers consult with and work beside these groups.
Ruth Maetala, a researcher, church leader and development worker in Solomon Islands, told the Parliament forum that Church leaders in her country wielded more influence than any other form of authority, including chiefs and politicians. This is especially true where local religious institutions are key providers of education, health services, emergency relief and general development.
While the government structure does not reach people in remote communities, every village has at least one church. Although religious networks are increasingly recognised in governmental and UN disaster mitigation and response planning, they can also be marginalised from the development and disaster relief professions. In Aceh, Muhammadiyah, a reformist Muslim social organisation with 30 million members in Indonesia, acted as an ad hoc national network of communication in the wake of the tsunami.
They drew up elaborate reconstruction plans, but could not find the funding to implement them. Religion should therefore form an integral part of any context analysis. Religious bodies and authorities need to be engaged and listened to; religious beliefs and practices that might affect disaster relief and recovery must be identified. She would like to thank Ilan Kelman, J. Mercer and I.
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Lessons learned from the Haiti Earthquake Response. ACA member Laura Captari, who has a background in community mental health and has counseled survivors of disasters in the United States and internationally, agrees. When survivors of disasters come together to support one another, in many cases they gain not only practical assistance and the comfort of being with people who understand what they have endured, but also a variety of emotional benefits, Captari says.
She notes that research has associated altruism with increased gratitude and well-being among those who practice it. Although most survivors will not need long-term treatment, counselors should be alert to certain signs and symptoms. It is important to recognize when a survivor may need additional follow-up services from another professional, agency or organization, and [then to] provide this referral.
Lawson adds that signs such as hypervigilance and difficulty sleeping can indicate trouble if they are present for weeks or months at a time.
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The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College in Illinois is a research center that studies the role that faith plays in helping people cope with disasters. Shannonhouse is a fellow at the institute, where she is part of a team that is developing a program of spiritual first aid.
Captari is also working with Shannonhouse and others at the Humanitarian Disaster Institute to develop general spiritual first aid practices. Captari points out that multiple studies have indicated that the majority of Americans an estimated 89 percent, according to the Pew Research Center express a belief in God or some other higher power. These feelings can lead to a loss of hope. Spiritual first aid is intended to help promote positive spiritual coping, Shannonhouse says. Some of the aspects of spiritual first aid are based on general coping behaviors, such as practicing self-care and understanding common stress reactions.
In addition, spiritual first aid involves working with survivors to help them identify what rituals or beliefs connected to their religious or spiritual traditions might bring them comfort. Disaster mental health workers then encourage survivors to turn to these practices as a way of coping, Shannonhouse explains.
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Another acronym, C. T, describes the helping process taught in spiritual first aid:. Both Shannonhouse and Captari caution that no one-size-fits-all approach exists for spiritual first aid. Like any counseling method, it must be practiced with cultural humility. Counselors can use SFA to ask about, encourage and validate the importance of existential questions and struggles that may be present rather than shying away [from them]. Captari also emphasizes the importance of counselors maintaining an open, interested and accepting attitude toward the beliefs and faith tradition of survivors.
It is often difficult to connect with the divine when one is in a state of hyperarousal. Normalize feelings of anger or confusion toward their higher power. Counselors can help disaster survivors who identify as religious or spiritual in a number of ways, Captari says.