A Disaster Simulation Exercise showed me the importance of valuing other people lives – Reflections on the Youth Camp in Atauro

Meet Liliana Sarmento, a 23 year old CVTL Volunteer from Dili Branch shares her reflections of the Youth Camp on Atauro Island   in May 2023.

The personal experience and knowledge gained from this camp were immense. We learned from the facilitators, they shared their knowledge and experiences. It’s inspired to become a facilitator myself in the future. I now understand that practice and continuous learning are key to becoming an effective facilitator.

I feel so grateful for the opportunity to attend this camp and being part of the Healthy Youth Program has been such a great experience. It was so fantastic to be on Atauro Island and connecting with the Youth there and discovering the environment n Atauro.

There were so many things happening over the 5 days of the camp. Everything was really organised and the agenda was full of various activities. We conducted a “Door-to-Door” information session in one village; talking to people about prevention from dengue and diarrhoea. We went together in pairs so we could learn from each other; we shared information and trained ourselves on how to approach communities. This is really helpful not only for future work opportunities in rural areas, but we know how to communicate effectively with the community. The people we talked to were really enthusiastic and appreciated the information we shared.  They said it was often very difficult to get information when living in rural and remote villages.

 Another session was a “Disaster Simulation” with the focus on a tsunami emergency. It was my first time participating in such a simulation. At first, I felt a bit confused and didn’t know how to proceed, but the facilitators guided us through the whole event, so we confused and uncertain about how to proceed, the facilitators guided us through… it was amazing.

 I learnt a lot from this – how serious a situation could be and how quickly bad things can happen; and the how we can’t play with people’s lives. We learnt to be pro-active when there is a disaster and how we should prepare beforehand to minimise the risk; and this is for all disaster fire, landslides, floods, tsunamis. – all of them we need to be prepared

There were so many activities from the beginning, until the end of the Camp. It helped me value the importance of managing time and staying on schedule. I can’t believe how much we learnt – and with this new knowledge, we can share in our village. That’s what we do in CVTL, we are together for humanity.

 I highly recommend this camp, especially to CVTL and its Dili Branch. The camp was well-organized and impactful. It not only helped me but also newcomers who wish to join the Red Cross as volunteers. This camp provided a great opportunity for us to get to know each other and learn together. I encourage the continuation of such activities in villages and communities, as sharing information through these activities is crucial for mutual understanding. When we reach out to these remote areas, the communities feel grateful for the direct support and information from CVTL.

From the 9th – 13th of May, Liliana Romansa Sofia Sarmento, and 25 other Volunteers from CVTL Dili Branch with along with 25 Youth from the villages of Beloi, Bikeli, Makadade, Makili and Vila Maumeta on Atuaro Island, and, joined together for a Youth Camp with the theme focusing on under the theme of “Youth, Center of Change”. The objective of the camp was to provide participants an opportunity to develop creative and leadership skills in order to become a better member of the community and future leaders of Timor-Leste. 15 local school students also participated camp activities on recycling and climate change. # End.

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