MONDAY JULY 10 2017: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO –Students from the Tobago School for the Deaf, Speech and Language Impaired were treated to an instructional puppet show, on disaster preparedness specifically designed for persons with special needs on Wednesday, July 5.
The event formed part of a student-centered workshop, an integral component of the Digicel Foundation’s ‘Preparing You!’Disaster Preparedness Programme, which equips and empowers persons with special needs to respond to disasters and emergency scenarios in a timely fashion.
The puppet show which engaged the excited youngsters was performed by the Emmanuel Puppet Team and signed to the deaf students by staff members from the school.
Now in its 2ndyear, the Preparing You Programme has received financial support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), implemented by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP)within the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
This Programme has also fostered partnerships with the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service (TTFS) and Disaster Management Units within the Ministry of Rural and Local Government.
After completing the initial phases of the Programme, which includes sensitising the students and teachers alike to disaster preparedness and emergency management, the next step is to have the schools outfitted with the appropriate alarm systems and safety equipment.
To date the Programme has successfully trained close to 80 members of staff, parents and caregivers and has impacted the lives of more than 300 persons with special needs in disaster preparedness and emergency management.