Hard EarthQuake –Few Dos and Don’ts for service provider…

-Kripa Sigdel

April 25, 11:56 AM- I would like to say The Black Saturday.

We often used to hear about the Probability of Major Earthquake in Nepal and the destruction it might bring in Kathmandu, which was supposed to be more than of Haiti of 2012. But very fortunately the rate didnt exceed than what we always scared of.

Thanks to the mother nature for hitting us hard at Saturday-where no schools and colleges and business houses were there. And thanks to the constant advertisements the medias were showing about the information of what to do and what not to do if Earthquake hits us hard.
Still more than 7 thousands died and thousands and thousands of injured. Sigh!
The cruel mother nature and the cruel Saturday.
Now, when Earthquake hit us hard. Many aftershocks were felt and still we are feeling, many of the organizations, youths united to save the fellow citizens. Sudden rise of fund to collect relief materials started, various health camps and food camps established. This made me personally so proud of each Nepali who are voluntarily working very hard to provide relief to the affected ones.

Food, Tents, Solar Lights, General Health Check up …everything is gradually given to the affected ones.
Now, What Next???

The main concern of my this article is…What Next after Basic Needs?

The Next Can Be: Something Deep Down than what is tangible.
– Assessment of Houses : To make assure of less further damage
– Housing- Cheap and Low Risk: For the immediate shelter in Upcoming Rainy Season
– Psycho Social Support: For the minimization of Trauma and Distress that caused after Quake
– Skills Trainings: To engage the affected ones and to make them self-sustained.

ITS NOT EASY JOB. FOR SURE….ITS NOT EACH JOB!

But, we should go to the next level now. We should be ready to shift the priority to the next level if we want our fellow Nepali to get relief in Real Sense.

Here, Being the one who is working for the relief cause. I would like to share few Dos and Dont’s that we should take care in this moment of crisis by anyone wanting to work for the needy ones.

DOs:

1) Do active Listening:
Listen whatever the affected ones trying to say. Read their gesture, understand their body language. Do Listen to them. Ask appropriate question.
DONOT ask ‘’Are you fine?’’ and move on when you go to see them. They arenot! They need you there, they need our help to settle down. Do listen what they are trying to SAY.

2) Prepare for Unexpected:
Affected ones are not in condition of showing Normal behavior. They might act little different then the usual one. Nobody is in condition of showing Normal behavior after post crisis situation of. Expect the unexpected. First you, the one who is working for crisis, should be prepare for the comings. Be NON-JUDGMENTAL and prepare for anything.

3) Link for the right thing:
Since you are wanting to work for the affected ones, first make sure you know the LINKS or necessary details of referral. If you or where you are working can handle, then try to provide the support from them and when if you cannot, refer to the place they should be. Give proper guidelines, show the proper link, give appropriate phone numbers. Be the Link between their ‘Necessity’’ and the ‘’Help’’.

4) Be Immediate Help:
This is the most- Immediate Help. React Immediately for help. Do not wait for next day to support them. If they are in trauma, it could increase more tomorrow. If they are hungry, it could intensify more tomorrow. If they are distress, it could be more distressing tomorrow. Provide Immediate support. Observe, Help or Link…but do it immediately as soon as you can.

5) Self Care:
Nobody can help others if you arent helping yourself. Take enough sleep, eat right, drink alot and be in proper mental frame to help. BE AWARE about yourself and what you are capable of doing.

DONTs:

1) DO not JUDGE:
As I said earlier, DO NOT JUDGE! Everyone is in crisis. Everyone has different problem. Do not Judge or see what you want to see. Talk to them, understand the area, realize the necessity then ACT.

2) Do not TALK if they do not want to open up:
Do not pressurize anyone to open up in this moment of crisis. Everyone is distressed, they will take time to settle down. Understand about them from their body language, the people around them, their previous talks, but do not force them to ANSWER your QUESTIONS and do not make them SAY what you want to HEAR.

3) Do not serve just because you want to:
Understand the Area, Need, Resources before you starting to SERVE. Understandable- everyone wanting to help others. But be clear about it first.
If you are wanting to give psychosocial support- first know about psychological first aid, if you are wanting to give relief materials- first make sure that relief material is needed there. Make sure you are AWARE about the AREA of your service. Discourage the duplication of help, it wont be much supportive and that might not be one that you want to do. Understand what they need and HELP.

4) Do not show Unrealistic expectations:
This is very critical phase. A ray of expectation brings a huge change in anyone. Try to be aware about what your capacity is. If you cannot do fill the expectations, better refer to others. Use your links of HELP, but do not make false expectations and lengthen it. This is crisis and what is most is immediate help, do it but without giving them unrealistic expectations.

5) Do not SHOW the devastating pictures,  videos to Children:

Children are the most vulnerable one and the ones who get affected quickly. Just do not show the devastating pictures, videos to them. DO not also share the stories of deaths, fear, danger to them. It will remain in their psyche otherwise and can cause more emotional turmoil and longterm damage in their mind. Be careful while sharing information with Vulnerable group and act immediately to provide psychological help (or psycho social help) after the fulfillment of basic needs. This help can prevent further damage and make them settle down and be normalize with daily life.
6) Do not stop sticking together and being UNITED.
One of my friend tell it so perfectly. He told ‘’If we are in one bus and somebody hits our bus hard, we all start helping our bus be okay again, stick together, help each other till we reach our destination. And Sad reality comes when. Nobody thinks what happened to bus after they reach the destination.’’
DO NOT REPEAT THE BUS EXAMPLE in the crisis of Nepal.
Our destination is to make our Nepal a perfect place to live in. Our destination should be something which will help all Nepali to be more connected and united. Lets stick together in every time.
Realize our capacity of getting together and understand we can do anything if we are united. JUST DO NOT LET THIS SPIRIT GO DOWN. Lets stick together for ever…in this crisis and in happy moments and beyond.

THERE ARE MANY DOs and DONTs from our own experiences. Feel free to add them.
And most importantly, Lets STICK together in this moment of Crisis.
We should understand where, what and how things should be done. Lets shift priority if the previous ones are fulfilled. Lets give immediate help if needed.
And, Lets Remain like this- SELFLESS, CONCERNED, and UNITED for NEPAL!

(Writer is the psychology graduate, and founder of team Psychbigyaan. At now as relief service, she is working as team leader of Media team in #RISENEPAL movement and assisting its other activities since the need occured for this disaster)

Kripa Sigdel

About this Author

Kripa Sigdel is founder and Executive Director of Psychbigyaan Network Nepal-PNN. She is also currently working as a faculty in Department of Psychology, Padmakanya Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University. Her expertise and interests are in Academics/Research, Counselling, Training and Program Coordination.

Kripa Sigdel – who has written posts on Psychbigyaan Network Nepal.


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