“We can count the stars easily because we have no roofs!”
CANADEM Expert discusses her work in the Philippines
OTTAWA, 16 April 2013 – After Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) struck the Philippines in December 2012, humanitarian relief expert Elaine Bainard was seconded to UNICEF by CANADEM as a Child Protection Expert to work with representatives from UNICEF’s education specialist team.
Psychosocial sessions for teachers were organised by UNICEF and led by Elaine. In a packed classroom in Lingig, along the worst hit eastern coastal region, teachers sit and listen to Elaine as she helps them understand that the stresses and emotions they face are completely normal reactions to very abnormal circumstances.
“UNICEF has targeted support to teachers because they are primary caregivers," Bainard says. "These vital community workers have a real impact on the lives of children. If they are not supported through the grief, anger and stress that they may be facing, they are likely to be less able to support the children in their care."