IOM's Health. Protection and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) teams con-ducted trainings for 166 health service providers on systems of support offered to survivors of Gender Based Violence. This training is expected to strengthen referral pathways and improve the quality of medical care and clinical management of rape for survivors better ensuring a survivor-centered approach. .
With the rainy season coming to a close, IOM SMEP teams are continuing slope reinforcements and repairs for damaged roads. Slopes that were com-promised in the rains are being planted with vegetation to prevent erosion during the next rainy season.
IOM's Korea-funded Digital Island Project organized a day-long advocacy workshop for primary school teachers in Moheskhali to discuss future challenges and opportunities (or host community children's education. Participants learned about methods to develop students' essential skills, including creatMty and leadership.
New Shelter Programme Gives Refugees a Say
Information feedback sessions conducted in Rohingya camps last year revealed that refugees wanted greater decision-making in the way they design and construct their shelters. The Shelter team was in favour of empowering beneficiaries to upgrade their shelters, but there were concerns about ensuring standards of safety and durability for the bamboo structures. "Measures, such as use of treated bamboo, ensuring that bamboo stays off the ground and away from moisture and bugs, and that the bamboo structure is braced, are critical to enhancing the stability and durability of shelters," shares Josh Hart — the Shelter and Nonfood Items programme manager. In order to support this approach and build capacity amongst beneficiaries, twentyfive households at a time are given two-hour orientation on 'Shelter Improvement and Maintenance" by a team of Bangladeshi trainers who are recruited from the surrounding area and speak Chittagonian dialect, a language similar to that spoken by the Rohingya. After the training, households are given a batch of Shelter materials that include treated bamboo. ropes, and metal footings which help keep bamboo above ground and away from pests. Soon after beneficiaries install footings and integrate treated bamboo into their structures, they receive a voucher worth a set number of points which can be redeemed for additional materials offered amongst available material options. The new system marks a change from the first days of the emergency response. "In the initial months after the crisis in August 2017, refugees received basic training and an emergency shelter kit" said Hart. The emergency conditions meant that many shelters were quickly built and vulnerable to monsoon rains and wind. Now that the crisis is stabilising, refugees are empowered to upgrade their shelters based on their unique needs, supported by their training on Shelter Upgrade and Maintenance Materials are also better than before. IOM's bamboo poles are treated with an environmentally-safe borax solution that makes them last longer, and metal footings avoid contact with the ground, protecting them from pests that enter the bamboo. Giving refugees a greater say in their housing is more logistically challenging than the previous approach, but it ensures that refugees have the chance to independently determine how their shelters are built, says Hart. 'They might choose to add a partition, storage space or fireproofing of walls around cooking spaces:' he explains. So far, 35,000 households have benefitted from the programme, which has been implemented throughout the camps in 2019 and will continue into the coming year.
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