Patrick Joseph is a diploma student with Ola Fou – the partner of TEAR Fund NZ in Vanuatu. When Cyclone Pam hit the nation he was able to give advice to his local community about DRR …
Patrick Joseph started his certificate as a student with Ola Fou in 2012 and is now working towards the diploma. For the certificate, students study Disaster Risk Reduction and many have had the opportunity to put what they learnt into action with Cyclone Pam. Jenny Barthlow, who has been in Vanuatu gathering photo and stories for Integral Members, was able to find out how Patrick was able to put his knowledge to good use during the Cyclone.
Jenny says: “Patrick got some of the youth together and they went around securing homes – putting sandbags and heavy stones on the roofs on houses so they wouldn’t blow off. Patrick is passionate about youth work and got boys involved in preparing for the disaster as well as helping with the rebuilding.
Patrick says, “We put sandbags and stones on the roofs because we were not sure if the houses would be strong. We also had people sheltering in my house. My roof was ok because I built it – I knew it would be strong!”
Patrick says about working with the young people, “We work mainly with developing their existing skills. We start by giving them some responsibilities – otherwise they could get into gangs. They are now very much involved in reconstruction. Their high school was damaged so they can’t go to school at the moment, but maybe they’ll be able to return next month.”