Helping families recover after the volcanic eruption in Guatemala
Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted on 3 June 2018, killing more than 100 people and forcing 12,000 to evacuate their homes.
An estimated 1.7 million people - 10% of Guatemala's population - have been affected by this eruption and the lava, ash, and mud that followed.
In the aftermath of the disaster, Plan International is working in three of the largest shelters in Guatemala’s Central region, with an estimated population of 1,625 people.
We’re responding with essential items for evacuees, including mattresses and sheets for temporary shelters, and psychosocial support to help children recover from the trauma of their experiences.
John Lundine, Country Director of Plan International Guatemala
Creating safe spaces for children
Alba and her 10-year-old daughter Ruth, who lives with cerebral palsy, were fortunate to be away from their home at the foot of the volcano when it erupted.
Alba’s husband and three other children were also able to save themselves by running away, but their home and land are buried under mud and ash.
Alba and her family are now living in one of the shelters Plan International are working in. When our support team arrived, Alba recognised us because we worked in her community more than 10 years ago, and her eldest daughter had been a sponsored child.
The shelter has special food and medical services that cater to Alba’s needs, and a wheelchair that lets her join in and play with the other children staying there.
Reducing the impact of trauma
Alongside the mattresses, sheets, and hygiene kits, we're establishing comprehensive child protection services, creating safe spaces and providing 12 psychologists so that children’s physical and emotional needs can be supported. This support will help them overcome feelings of fear, instability and uncertainty.
Children are also being encouraged to take part in games and creative activities, to take their minds off the damage that’s been done to their homes.
Your support helps us respond quickly to situations like these. When a disaster strikes and children’s lives are disrupted, psychosocial support for children can mean the difference between recovery and long-term trauma.
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