Education

Building Resilience Through Education

Education is a critical component of all aspects of disaster services and a cornerstone of our work. Headwaters learns as much as possible about the communities we serve and are sensitive to their values and beliefs. We have developed respectful strategies that allow us to provide education and support, building capacity through training of community members. We are motivated to provide what a community and its residents need which has made us flexible and able to expand our services in response.

We seek to educate ourselves and our volunteers about the communities we serve, specifically the culture, religion and potential ramifications of the disaster. We provide orientation and training to volunteers including lessons learned throughout our years of service.

The River of Hope Mental Health Resource center in New Orleans initially provided community education to those who might not otherwise have had access to information about what to expect after Hurricane Katrina. We held health fairs and other community events designed to draw community members to the resource center. We continue to provide services with an educational component to children in the New Orleans’ Ninth Ward.

Headwaters has worked with the Ministry of Education in Haiti to develop and provide public health education, working with programs from handwashing and toothbrushing to programs that teach preventative strategies for malaria, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Zika. We have also provided education for several orphanages about sanitation, clean water and disease prevention. Our physicians educated girls about changes they will experience in their bodies as they develop. Our current work includes further development of public health initiatives and preventative medical support.

As we have traveled with volunteers to Haiti, their passion to do more for the children has evolved into a pledge to sponsor the children’s education. We currently have 90 children sponsored at New Grace School, Lifed Christian Orphanage and La Benedictus Orphanage. Sponsorships typically include a year commitment to sponsor the children’s education. There are sponsorship opportunities currently available.

Headwaters’ volunteers provide needed psychosocial education to first responders, community members and parents and children. Training is focused not only on disaster response, but on the development of techniques that are specific to developing resiliency.

Headwaters has developed and published books for children. The books are intended to educate children and adults through story- telling in response to disasters in Haiti, the Philippines, West Africa, Nepal, Puerto Rico, as well as a book for refugee children. The books address normal emotional responses to disaster while building coping skills and supporting the development of resiliency. Each book is accompanied by a caregiver guide that provides instruction on how to use the books.

Our mental health volunteers have expertise in trauma response and working in disaster and include psychologists, marriage and family therapists, licensed social workers, case managers, psychiatric nurses and licensed counselors. Our psychosocial education includes providing support to first responders, counseling and training care givers, educating students and volunteers and supporting and educating adult and children survivors.

Working Together

Raising Awareness

Headwaters values and supports diversity. We respect and welcome people of different ethnicities, ages, genders, religions, races, classes, physical abilities, mental abilities, nationalities, sexual preferences, and expressions. We appreciate the opportunities we’ve had to work closely with people from different backgrounds. We are especially grateful for the work we did with the Somali- American community in Minnesota. In creating the Inside Out project in Minneapolis we met and heard the stories of so many wonderful community members, originally from Somalia. We are richer for this experience and stand with the Somali community and all immigrants during these difficult times.

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Education and Outreach

Our Approach

Mental Health

Beginning with the River of Hope Mental Health Resource center in New Orleans we provided community education to those who might not otherwise have access to information about what to expect after Hurricane Katrina.

Public Health

Headwaters has worked with the Ministry of Education in Haiti to develop and provide public health education, working with programs from handwashing and toothbrushing to programs that teach preventative strategies for malaria, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Zika. Our current work includes further development of public health initiatives and preventative medical support.

Our Books

Headwaters has developed and published six books for children. The books are intended to educate children through story- telling in response to disasters in Haiti, the Philippines, West Africa, Nepal, Puerto Rico, as well as a book for refugee children. The books address normal emotional responses to disaster while building coping skills and supporting the development of resiliency. Each book is accompanied by a caregiver guide that provides instruction on how to use the books with children.

Psychological First Aid

Our mental health volunteers have expertise in trauma response and working in disaster and include psychologists, marriage and family therapists, licensed social workers, case managers, psychiatric nurses and licensed counselors. Our mental health support “on the ground” includes providing support to first responders, training caregivers, educating students and volunteers and supporting adults and children.

Around the World

Our Work

Lets Do This Together

Volunteer With Us

Whether you are on the ground or behind-the-scenes, by becoming a Headwaters volunteer you will be making a difference in the lives of people recovering from natural disasters. As a grassroots disaster relief organization, Headwaters welcomes people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences to be a part of our team.

Donate

Disaster victims have varying degrees of options for self-recovery. Those with the fewest resources are often left without the emotional and physical means to rebuild and restart their lives. Financial contributions enable the most vulnerable victims of natural disasters rebuild their lives — from purchasing supplies for schools in Haiti to creating a book to help the children of the Philippines understand their feelings.

Partner with Us

Headwaters is seeking to find new strategic partners and ideas for fundraising and recruiting volunteers. It is the vision of our board that we convey the message to all businesses and persons, that Headwaters is founded on the premise that it is an organization that exists to provide an opportunity for people to give and volunteer and to have more direct and hands on involvement. Contact us to learn more about corporate partnerships.

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