Bangladesh: Two years after Cyclone Sidr Psychosocial support: Jasmine

Published: 13 November 2009 0:00 CET

In the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr, a psychosocial support programme has been set up in southwest Bangladesh to support the 30,000 most affected families. The programme is bringing communities together and helps to build community resilience to prevent disasters.

Jasmine is an 18-years-old student at the Barguna Government College. She joined the Bangladesh Red Crescent six months ago as volunteer to help in her community.

"My brother asked me to become a volunteer in psychosocial counselling. I found it really interesting and I want to do more," she explains. "My brother is also a volunteer. I was in his house when Cyclone Sidr hit. We were lucky as we didn't lose anyone.”

"I saw that people were devastated by what they had lost and scared that it might happen again. I was scared, too. But because of the training I received I'm less worried now and I want others to feel this way too," she says.

"Communities need to work together when these bad things happen and to look out for each other. I feel so grateful that the Red Crescent has helped us to rebuild our house and that they gave us food and dress materials - but especially for helping me to stop being afraid."

Psychosocial support has can help communities to deal with loss of families and livelihoods. In Jasmine's village Baruga, 351 Red Crescent volunteers were trained in psychosocial support.