The purpose of this paper is to share Save the Children’s responses to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Irma in Florida in 2017. Save the Children’s response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of these disasters consisted of a wide range of services for the affected children and their caregivers, including assistance to childcare centers and organizations, and providing child-focused services, such as psychosocial support. This paper will particularly focus on the psychosocial support element of the responses.

Key Take Away Points

Save the Children gives children in the U.S. and around the world a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. The paper focused on Save the Children’s psychosocial support in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma. As mentioned, the psychosocial support programming was divided in two phases. First, Save the Children worked to meet the immediate needs of children and their caregivers, while assessing and preparing for long-term recovery programming. Second, the organization implemented high-quality psychosocial support programs to address the social, emotional and practical needs of children and their caregivers. As noted by a facilitator:

Author Biography

Anjana is currently working as the Assoc. Dir. for Psychosocial Support and Protection at Save the Children US Programs. In last 16 years, she has worked in over 25 countries in humanitarian and development settings where she conducted assessments, conflict analysis, managed programs, developed training curriculum and trained local teams. She served as the Senior Advisor for Gender and Community Mobilization with the Intl, Services Dept. of the American Red Cross. During her tenure, she developed guidelines, and capacity building activities pertaining to psychosocial support, gender mainstreaming and community mobilization. During 2005-2007, she led $ 6.7 million Psychosocial Support Program in Sri Lanka post 2004 Tsunami with 4 international delegates and over 100 local staff members. This program directly reached 275,000 affected people over a 3 years period. She is part of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Global Task Group at Save the Children & at the Reference Center for Psychosocial Support in the Red Cross Movement. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Lucknow University (India), a Master’s degree in Sustainable Peace from UN Mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica) and a Diploma in Humanitarian Diplomacy from DiploFoundation. In addition, she has completed course work on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support from Oxford University, Disaster Mental Health Institute, South Dakota University, and Asia Disaster Preparedness Center . She speaks four languages. She is a published author. In addition to her two books, Gudia: A Defiant Doll and Papa ke Joote (Hindi), her work has been published in peer reviewed journals and books on subjects related to gender, community mobilization and psychosocial support. Her last publication was a chapter on Role of Women and Religion in Peacebuilding & Trauma Healing in a book entitled Women, Religion & Peacebuilding. She is currently finalizing her next poetry book focusing on Individual Resilience.