held at Ranminitenna Tele Cinema Village, Tissa from 11th to 14th October 2023
1. Very Rev. Fr. Charles Hewawasam, Vicar General - Diocese of Galle (Chief Guest)
2. Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson Perera, National Director, Caritas Sri Lanka SEDEC
3. Rev. Fr. Sebajeewan Director Wanni HUDEC
4. Rev. Fr. Anthony Jesudasan - Acting Director Caritas SED Galle
5. Mr. K. P.G. Sumith Shantha - Additional District Secretary - Hambantota
6. Mr. K.C. De Silva - Deputy Director DMC Hambantota
7. Dr. Hasitha Sudasinghe, District Medical officer, Lunugamwehera
8. Mr. Y.S. Yapa – Lt. Commander, Coordinator Tele Cinema Village
9. Mr. N. W. Udayakumara, Manager In charge Tele Cinema Village
10. Mr. J.P. Sagayaraj - Head of the DRRM Unit Caritas Sri Lanka
11. Miss. Ivanjaline - Programme officer DRRM Unit Caritas Sri Lanka
12. Mr L.G. Premasiri – Resource Person
13. Mr Chandana Siriwardena – Resource Person (OBT Trainer)
14. Mr. Austin Perera Manager Caritas SED Galle
After arrival of all participants at the training venue at 11.30 AM on 11th October 2023, registration took place and participants were directed to their particular rooms for accommodation.
Thereafter, participant trainees were medically tested by Dr Hasitha Sudasinghe, District Medical Officer, Lunugamvehera to check medical suitability before they began their training.
The invited guests were thereafter welcome and proceeded to the Auditorium for the inauguration ceremony. After religious observations, Very Rev. Fr. Charles Hewawasam (Vicar General - Diocese of Galle), Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson Perera, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka SEDEC, Mr K.P.G.Sumith (Additional GA, Hambantota) and Mr N.W. Udayakumara, Manager (Manager in charge of Tele Cinema Village) spoke on this occasion. Miss Evanjalina Sampathwaduge (Programme Officer, DRRM Unit, Caritas Sri Lanka also emphasized the value and importance of disaster management training in today’s context and requested all to participate with dedication as DRRM Unit at National Centre is always ready and well prepared to guide and assist you to proactively prepare our communities, making them more resilient and ready to face these disasters.
A short video was shown on the history of disasters in Sri Lanka. The major natural disasters of Sri Lanka are floods, landslides, Cyclones, Droughts, Wind storms and coastal erosion are the main causes for Natural Disasters. These natural disasters have caused loss of life, and enormous damage and destruction to property. In addition to these natural disasters, the country also incurs heavy toll on account of man- made disasters such as deforestation, indiscriminate coral, sand and gem mining, and industrial hazards besides ethnic conflicts and occasional political violence in the recent past.
What is the definition of a disaster?
Disasters are serious disruptions to the functioning of a community that exceed its capacity to cope using its own resources. Disasters can be caused by natural, man-made and technological hazards, as well as various factors that influence the exposure and vulnerability of a community.
What are the reasons for disasters?
What Causes Natural Disasters
The main causes of natural disasters are tectonic shifts, lunar activities, deforestation, soil erosion, air pressure, ocean currents, pollution, global warming, mining, seismic waves, climate change, increase in population etc. Agricultural practices, mining, deforestation, etc., can lead to landslides. Plants and animals can also be damaged by wildfires.
Disaster Management Policy
The aim of the National Disaster Management Policy is to establish and maintain sustainable mechanisms/systems, structures, programs, resources, capabilities and guiding principles for disaster risk reduction/management; mitigation; preparing for and responding to disasters and threats of disasters in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Disaster Management Act No.13 of 2005 provides for the development of National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) as the overall guiding document consisting of all phases of disaster management cycle, namely, mitigation, preparedness, response, coordination of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
What are the 5 stages of disaster management cycle?
Thereafter Mr Premasiri (Resource Person) delivered a lecture on Life Balance with soft management skills. The skills education has proven to have positive psychological effects on youth. It promotes a healthy social and emotional life and strengthens one's abilities to handle stressful situations. Life skills are essential to send young adults out into the world with confidence in themselves and their abilities.
It was a motivational session with positive approach (activity based indoor session).
Hard skills are teachable and measurable abilities, such as writing, reading, math or ability to use computer programs. By contrast, soft skills are the traits that make you a good employee, such as etiquette, communication and listening, getting along with other people.
Positive psychology focuses on the positive events and influences in life, including:
Positive experiences (like happiness, joy, inspiration, and love).
Positive states and traits (like gratitude, resilience, and compassion).
Positive institutions (applying positive principles within entire organizations and institutions).
As a field, positive psychology spends much of its time thinking about topics like character strengths, optimism, life satisfaction, happiness, wellbeing, gratitude, compassion (as well as self-compassion), self-esteem and self-confidence, hope, and elevation.
This O.B.T training was conducted by Mr Chandana Siriwardena – Resource Person (OBT Trainer), Mr L.G. Premasiri (Resource Person), their team along with two Trainers from Sri Lanka Navy.
Outbound training - also known as OBT Training - is an innovative approach to team building and personal development that utilizes experiential learning, outdoor activities and adventure sports. By engaging in actual experience-based activities, individuals and teams can develop greater understanding of themselves, their motivations, and how they interact within their team environments.
OBT Training is an evidence-based effective training method for enhancing employee and team behaviors and organizational performance through participation in outdoor activities and experiential learning methodology.
Outbound Training generally revolves around outbound activities designed to improve leadership, communication skills, performance, planning, change management, delegation, teamwork, and motivation.
In an Outbound Training program the participants are divided into teams and assigned tasks or activities for completion in a specified time. The facilitator invites the group to achieve a goal, but does not explain how to successfully complete the activity. Each Outbound activity has a structured approach to bring out specific learning's, Invite behavioral change and connect them back to the real life work areas.
The main focus with the Outbound Training approach was to impart learning on organizational needs such as Leadership, Strategic Thinking, Conflict Management, Disaster Preparedness, Team Building, Effective Communication, Quality Improvement, Mentoring and Skill Development. Outbound training lets the individuals and groups discover their latent talent and strengths in a safe, secure and supportive learning atmosphere.
Every morning on each day (between 6.30 to 7.30 AM) the trainees had to participate in PT sessions.
It included exercise program including movement and education. At the end of each workout session they understood the benefits of strength training and cardiovascular training. At the end of exercise program they learned how to move correctly. The trainees participated in PT sessions very enthusiastically along with their trainers.
The participants were divided into two groups. They had to select a name for the team, a theme, a team song, a team sound etc. Accordingly they were divided into two groups named “Eagle” with 15 members and “Lion” with 16 members. They had to make separate two Camping Sites in a creative manner.
They were given theoretical and practical training on team building (a group activity) by Mr Chandana Siriwardena (OBT Trainer) and his team to get maximum outcome with team competition. They were also given training on leadership & team building activities for soft management skills (activity based training session on the camp site. These were given to build soft and hard skills to be used for disaster management.
A cultural event was held on 12th October 2023 (2nd day of the training ) commencing from 7.30 to 10.30 PM with the participation of Rev Fr Luke Nelson Perera (National Director), other DC directors and senior staff of Caritas Sri Lanka and Caritas SED Galle. Cultural events for entertainment and enjoyment were presented by members of two teams such as dancing, enacting dramas and singing in an competitive manner.
The O.B.T. training continued on the 3rd day (13th October 2023) with PT sessions between 6.30 to 7.30 AM and a recap session which serves as a vital communication tool that keeps team members informed and shared on the success of the outbound activities already performed. Thereafter a practical session continued till lunch break in the camp site on how to manage an emergency disaster situation as team .
After lunch a personality development adventure sessions was conducted in the camp site till tea break (an activity based training session for individual performance). The purpose of this session was to build individual technical skills for search and rescue operations.
Practical Session for First Aid Training
During these OBT training sessions, a team from St John’s Ambulance Brigade (Moneragala) headed by Mr Sarath Kumara ( District Commissioner – Moneragala) provided first aid training. The St. John Ambulance Association and Brigade of Sri Lanka (also often referred to as the St. John Ambulance of Sri Lanka) is a charitable organization providing healthcare services to the Sri Lankan public. They provided their services during this training programme. The aims of first aid include preserving life, preventing injury from getting worse, aiding recovery, relieving pain, and protecting the unconscious. The main objective is to save lives.
They also demonstrated how to correctly tie an arms sling on a broken hand (upper arm, wrist or rib injuries), how to correctly bandage as a means of protection against further damage, how to administer rescue breathing and chest compressions (artificial respiration) for victims of drowning or electrical shocks. This is essential for restoration or initiation of someone's breathing by manual or mouth-to-mouth methods as a first aid. The trainees participated in first aid training very actively.
Disaster Evacuation Exercise Drill
On 3rd day (13th October 2023 evening) a disaster evacuation exercise drill was organized and conducted in a very successful manner. We chose an abandoned lake (wewa) within Ranminitenna tele cinema village for this purpose. This was a multidimensional exercise through which we intended to assess the readiness of those who were trained in search & rescue and disaster preparedness to be vigilant and prepared, to proactively engage in disaster risk reduction activities and ensure the safety of the victims in the event of a disaster. This was done with the idea of building resilience and reducing the damage to victims and loss of lives associated with natural disaster caused by flooding after breaking of a dam of a river.
One team member received a message on a telephone of a disaster informing many persons have been injured and the exact location calling for assistance to urgently evacuate them from the scene of heavy flooding caused by break of a dam of a river .
Immediately the other team members rode in ambulances to the exact destination to search and rescue the victims. Meanwhile the St John’s Ambulance Brigade members too rushed to the scene of the disaster. Many persons were injured crying for help to save them. Many injured, arms and legs were broken. Another injured victim was hanging on a tree. Few persons were lying unconscious. Injured persons were in scattered places on the bank of the lake. The rescue team took immediate action, artificial respiration given including chest compressions to revive those who have fallen unconscious, arms slings tied on broken arms/ribs of victims, injured person hanging on the tree safely brought down and treated. First aid was immediately given and immediately evacuated to safe places and a hospital in ambulances.
The evaluation drill was conducted in a very successful manner. Having these drills and a disaster ready evacuation plan benefits all communities in a disaster of this nature.
Program evaluation, analysis and appreciation
After the completion of all activities, the program was evaluated. Evaluation provided a systematic method to study the program implementation and to understand how well it achieved its goals.
The Resource Person Mr Premasiri announced the overall winners of the whole training programme. The team “Lions” scored a total of 1240 marks and the team “Eagle” scoring 1120 marks and the team “Lions” was declared the winner with high performance. The best team leader adjudged was Miss. Ivanjaline from the team “Lions”. The best active female member was Miss Shelani from Colombo and Brother Dasith Mihira from Caritas SED Galle was chosen as the best active male member. They were presented with gifts as recognition of their performance. At the end the day’s programme, the Resource Person appreciated all members of the two teams for their contribution and active participation to make this training programme a very successful one.