Coping with Emergencies
During emergencies, RET offers basic humanitarian needs such as water, shelter, food and international protection. In fragile environments, young people need to develop their resilience. RET therefore has built up an expertise in providing psychosocial support (child & Youth & Women) and life skills during crises and emergencies. In addition, RET’s experience in protection tackles Early and Forced Marriage; Child Labor; Human Trafficking; Children and Youth with Disabilities & Legal Support.
Psychosocial support helps vulnerable children, youth and their families cope with the traumas they have lived through. If the psychological state of young people is not addressed either through individual therapy or group support, it will be extremely difficult for them to overcome the risks inherent to fragile environments and develop the necessary skills to protect themselves.
Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable young people to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. For RET this has often meant providing trainings with basic life-saving information in fields such as health, landmine awareness or prevention of gender-based violence.
Youth with Special Needs
During emergencies, inequalities linked to disability are exacerbated, as normal support systems such as family ties, specific infrastructure, social services or transportation networks collapse. The inclusive approaches that RET follows means that affirmative actions have to be taken to ensure that all members of society have access to their universal rights. Special attention to young people with disabilities is therefore a question of addressing specifically acute needs in order to guarantee all young peoples’ rights. However, as in the case of focusing on young women, working with youth with disabilities also serves a broader purpose. The way communities treat the most vulnerable influences how they view solidarity and social cohesion as a whole. Developing the potential of youth with special needs allows them to play strong roles in raising the awareness of their communities on the intrinsic value of all its members. RET address the needs of youth with special needs on multiple levels. First, we mainstream the issue of access to educational facilities and opportunities to youth with special needs in all our programs around the world. In specific contexts, we have developed methods to train governmental institutions in charge of integrating youth with special needs within the formal education system’s response to natural disasters. Our work then extends to the educational institutions themselves, training teachers to understand the needs and special vulnerabilities of their students with disabilities and integrate them in the school’s contingency plans. Finally, RET works with the youth themselves, raising their awareness of their roles and responsibilities in case of emergencies, allowing them to become positive actors of the school’s overall safety.