Volunteer Disaster Management Project in Jamaica
- Placement location: Manchester Parish and St. Elizabeth Parish
- Role: To help plan for, mitigate and respond to all types of disasters and to facilitate a community competition geared towards hurricane preparedness
- Requirements: Volunteers must have completed at least one year of related university studies
- Accommodation: Host family
- Price: From £1895
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
The Disaster Management Project in Jamaica involves volunteering in Manchester on the community disaster management programme. The project is open to volunteers who have completed at least one year of related university studies and who have a strong interest in the field of disaster management and a real desire to help the individuals and communities affected by disasters.
This project would be particularly suitable for any volunteers with geography, physical planning, international development, urban planning, disaster management and environmental science. The project would also be appropriate for anyone wanting to gain experience or those already with training, in the fields of international development, aid and relief work, or those looking to work in charity or governmental sectors. Volunteers should have a flexible and mature attitude and be able to work independently.
Disaster Management Volunteering in Jamaica
Disasters whether natural or manmade can severely set back the development of a country. The country can be negatively affected in terms of its economic, physical and social infrastructures. While many disasters cannot be prevented, planning how to effectively respond if they occur is increasingly important. The effects especially on the development of poorer countries such as Jamaica and its poorer members of society can be particularly devastating.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management agency (ODPEM) is the agency in Jamaica responsible for disaster management. The agency employs regional coordinators who work with parish disaster coordinators from the local government to plan for, mitigate and respond to all types of disasters. Volunteers can be particularly useful in this field as the lack of enough personnel in this area affects the extent to which the country can be prepared in the event of a disaster.
The Disaster Management Project designs programmes that address individual and community resilience to disasters especially amongst the most vulnerable sectors of society; this includes children, women, the elderly and the disabled. The project also focuses on helping farmers and fishermen who are often severely affected by disasters.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Jamaica Disaster Management Plan.
Your Role on the Disaster Management Project in Jamaica
The Disaster Management Project is located in Mandeville, Manchester Parish and St. Elizabeth Parish. Volunteers are needed to help with educating communities, schools and the business sector about disaster management through the Community Disaster Management Programme. The Community Disaster Management Project (Operation Get Ready) was born out of the concern that most communities in Manchester and St. Elizabeth are never fully prepared for the hurricane season and are also vulnerable to other disasters, natural and man-made. The project aims to engage the most vulnerable communities in a preparedness campaign, decrease the damage which results from natural disasters, and to increase the knowledge of community members as regards natural disasters.
Volunteers will be involved in assessing vulnerable communities, conducting research on the background of the selected communities, developing a community plan, preparing presentations for workshops, conducting an annual disaster awareness workshop in selected institutions, conducting earthquake/fire drills, creating disaster management charts and facilitating at least one disaster management workshop in a community. Volunteers work with the Disaster Management Programme Officer to undertake a number of tasks including:
- Public education awareness campaigns to foster a culture of respect for the environment
- Making public education programmes on disaster management
- Helping to train students, teachers and community groups in basic disaster management
- Developing evacuation plans and planning/coordinating drills and evacuation strategies
- Facilitating a recycling project at primary schools
- Planning and coordinating workshops and exhibitions in communities to build awareness
Volunteers will live with local host families in Mandeville or Black River.