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.
To date, RET has implemented more than 66 projects focused on Youth, Women & Child Protection worldwide.
Addressing the basic humanitarian and protection needs of new internally displaced people in Colombia.
The project aims to provide humanitarian assistance and gender-based protection for displaced women, men, children and adolescents in various municipalities in the Catatumbo region in Colombia.
RET’s humanitarian tailormade response aims to bridge the gaps and respond to the real needs and challenges of particularly vulnerable women and children, in addition to the victims of forced displacement, thus will provide access to improved shelter conditions; provision of livelihoods opportunities to create more durable and sustainable impact, and providing timely assistance for the proper registration of victims in the government’s IDP registry. The project will focus on protection interventions such as psychosocial care for survivors of sexual abuse and gender-based violence; comprehensive assistance (legal, medical and protection) for victims of sexual abuse and gender-based violence; the development of local mechanisms for GBV prevention and assistance; empowerment of the population in the exercising of their sexual and reproductive rights; and, the educational inclusion of displaced children and adolescents through the provision of schools inputs and supplies, infrastructure adaptation and the training of teachers.
Psychosocial support and protection for children and adolescents (accompanied and unaccompanied) in a situation of mobility in temporary and transit shelters for migrants and in public schools in Tapachula and Suchiate, Chiapas
Among the members of the caravans, children and adolescents are the most vulnerable group, since, given their young age, they are more likely to be emotionally affected by the difficult circumstances of migration, in addition to the already traumatic conditions that led to their departure from their places of origin. The program offers psychosocial care to children, as well as offers a series of recreational activities with a psychosocial focus in shelters and spaces where children are temporarily housed. As of May 2019, the program has included activities to raise awareness among Mexican children about inclusion, tolerance and respect for human rights, with the aim of promoting integration with the Central American population at an early age.
Friendly spaces for migrants’ girls, boys and adolescents in Darien border.
In response to human mobility in the Americas and the lack of a comprehensive and effective response, tailored to the needs of children and adolescents; the project aims to create cross border “Friendly Spaces” for migrant children on the Darien border, supporting the families, in particularly children and adolescents entering the Panamanian territory through the Darien jungle in border with Colombia. The safe spaces will act as a “Temporary Humanitarian assistance station (ETAH)” and will provide children and adolescents with psychosocial support and recreational activities to ensure their wellbeing while on route.
Strengthening Local Capacities of Adolescents and Young People, from San Lorenzo Canton, Esmeraldas Province, for the Promotion of Participation and Inclusion Spaces.
The project aimed at strengthening the local capacities of young people, adolescents and parents in the San Lorenzo canton, Esmeraldas province, for the promotion of participation and inclusion spaces with an emergency attention to children and families displaced from the community of El Pan and La Nueva Delicia neighborhood of San Lorenzo. The project empowered groups of young people with the knowledge and life skills necessary for the prevention and protection of rights, which articulate themselves in a network of adolescents and youth who can pursue their own agenda and action plans to act within their families, communities and institutions. The project also aimed to create maps of vulnerabilities and risks, identified by the adolescents and youth, through an understanding and acknowledgement of their rights.