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UNICEF rolls out psychosocial programme for Barbudan children

ANTIGUA, 15 September 2017.  UNICEF has rolled out a programme offering psychosocial support to children whose lives were disrupted when the devastating Hurricane Irma rampaged through the northern chain of Caribbean islands on 6 September 2017. 

Displaced Barbuda children who were evacuated to Antigua are the first of those affected by Irma to benefit from the UN children’s agency’s “Return to Happiness” programme, which uses strategies and activities to help in emotional recovery from trauma. It will also be implemented in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla as soon as conditions are favourable.

“These children witnessed a horrific hurricane that teared their homes away, destroyed their schools and left the island they called home totally in tatters. They will need lots of help to deal with the trauma associated with those experiences. This programme is aimed at starting that process,” said Khin-Sandi Lwin, UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean who attended the launch of “Return to Happiness”. More


Irma’s aftermath: the slow return to normality in Turks and Caicos

PROVIDENCIALES, 15 September, 2017 - Jay Deanne, a sombre 11 year-old, is trying to put a brave face on things, especially for his brother, Kennedy. He is now safe in the Enid Capron Primary School, one of two government shelters set up for those caught up in the terrifying hurricane, Irma, on the island of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. But he felt far from safe while Irma raged, “I was very scared. There was lots of rain, thunder and lightning. The roof was shaking, outside things were flying and the roof blew off.” The next morning, after finding themselves flooded out, Jay left for the shelter with his mother, brother and father.

The Deane’s are just one of many families pulling their lives together after Irma destroyed homes and infrastructure, leaving Providenciales with little electricity. It wasn’t as badly hit as several other sister islands like Grand Turk and South Caicos but things were bad enough. Jay’s father, and his cousin Hamilton, who saw the roof of his own house carried away by the wind as he huddled with 14 people, are among the number who leave the shelter by day to secure and rebuild their homes and get back to some semblance of normality. They return at nightfall to the relative safety that the shelter, which was itself damaged in the hurricane, can provide. More



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