PDA
Population and Community Development Association

 
   
   
 
   
 
Community-Base Emergency Relief Services (CBERS)
- Three Years Report

Post-Tsunami Rehabilitation Program
      PDA first became involved in post-emergency relief services upon the influx of hundreds of thousands of Khmer refugees from Cambodia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Using the same approach and methodology, PDA implemented many of the previously utilized health-related activities in the post-Tsunami rehabilitation project in the southern provinces of Thailand. PDA has worked with over fifty communities affected by the Tsunami, concentrating its best efforts to help those smaller communities and villages which have not been in the limelight of public interest (as compared to such villages as Khao Lak, Ko Phi Phi and Patong).

      PDA has implemented health-related activities, including water and sanitation, psychological counseling, youth empowerment, and environmental conservation. In addition to these programs, PDA has implemented livelihood rehabilitation programs designed to improve the standard of living. PDA sees its role as supplementary to government efforts which already have shown significant results with regard to rebuilding infrastructure such as roads, bridges, communications networks, town water supply systems, and homes.

Health Services
      A mobile environmental education unit travels to communities and schools to provide information and training on how to cultivate and preserve the local natural environment. The ‘environmental bus’ uses multimedia to teach about the local ecosystem, alternative energy sources, and what villagers can do to protect their environment. The multimedia education even shows how to generate income by setting up garbage banks.

Village Piped Water System
      To lower the costs of villagers who have to buy water at much higher prices than before the tsunami, PDA provided household rain catchment jars and, with villagers’ assistance, water storage tanks for schools or the community (one square meter of roof in southern Thailand yields approximately five cubic meters of water per annum). To further protect the public health of villagers and students, new household and school latrines were built to complement the renovation of existing facilities.

Youth Psychological Support and Empowerment
      Many children who survived the tsunami tragedy experience psychological trauma as a result of the loss of loved ones, damaged property, and financial instability in their homes. To restore their confidence and mental well-being, children and youth from several neighboring communities were invited to learn from each other at psychological support and empowerment camps. As “campers”, they receive psychological counseling and join activities which allow them to express their emotions, build self-confidence, and reduce the depression and anxiety generated in the aftermath of the Tsunami. Additionally, the camps teach youth to value and contribute to their social and natural environment. Campers get this education through practical exercises and outdoor activities. Finally, these camps foster solidarity and leadership skills among the youth, laying the foundation for many to go on and form the core of Village Youth Governments.