As schools in the Gulf Coast struggle to rebuild now more than two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region, a new initiative is infusing technology into seven districts in Mississippi and in New Orleans’ Jefferson Parish. EDC is a key research partner in this three-year, $41 million initiative by Cisco.
Before war ground business to a halt in the mid-1990s, Bosnia had been a vibrant center of engineering in Eastern Europe. Today, as the region rebuilds after years of conflict, unemployment rates top 50 percent, and the industrial sector is struggling to be competitive again on the world market.
“Bosnia has an emerging economy with huge opportunities,” says EDC’s Janice Brodman. “But most companies are working with outdated skills and tools.”
School violence, terrorism, and natural disasters are all crises that have the potential to affect school-aged children. With advanced planning, schools and communities can actively prepare to respond quickly to catastrophic events, and in many cases prevent them from ever happening. To help with this process, EDC’s National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention (NCMHPYVP) is working with its school- and community-based grantees to create the systems and infrastructure to prevent, prepare for, and respond to crisis situations.
Reinforced by the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans colleges, U.S. campuses are taking more deliberate approaches to planning for emergencies, including accidents, epidemics, natural disasters, violent incidents, and terrorist attacks.
In line with these efforts, emergency preparedness on campus is the focus of Catalyst, a 12-page newsletter recently published by the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention (HEC). The center is operated by EDC’s Health and Human Development Programs.
Health and Human Development Programs’ (HHD) Southeast Asia Initiative has developed a new education project for youth in four Thai ‘sea gypsy’ communities the village hardest hit by the tsunami. Funding from Deutsche Bank will permit HHD to offer life skills, vocational training, market research, and formal education assistance.
In the hours following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, crisis responders fanned out across the country, bringing help, compassion, and solace to survivors and families of victims. Some professional volunteers drove several hundred miles to assist survivors; all put their lives on hold. Many of the volunteers were organized by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), which held a conference in April to honor the survivors and victims of the tragedy and to identify the lessons that could be learned from the experiences.
Two days after September 11th, EDC Vice President Eric Jolly began talking to colleagues about what the organization could do to support teachers as they helped students make sense of the tragedy and its aftermath. Newspapers were beginning to carry reports of violence against Muslims and people who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent. Recalls Jolly, “Obviously, we couldn’t do anything about the violence that had already taken place, but we thought we could help prevent attacks against new groups of innocent victims—including Arab Americans.”