When 54 families moved into their new homes on the island of Madifushi in 2007, the high standard of the British Red Cross houses had some unforeseen implications. This was due to the modern electrics and other amenities in the houses being unfamiliar to the people of Madifushi.
This meant they had to rely on the Red Cross team to visit the island to maintain and fix their domestic appliances and highlighted the need to provide training.
As a result, volunteers were trained in domestic skills, such as rewiring electric power points, fixing hinges and window catches and using rainwater harvesting tanks correctly.
The volunteers accompanied the Red Cross maintenance team for several days as they dealt with various issues in people’s homes. They had the opportunity to learn on the job, ask questions and become proficient. Now communities are able to deal with household maintenance problems themselves.
Top graduate awards
For each batch of trainees, a special award was given to the two most proficient students. They also received a starter toolbox with a good selection of practical tools to carry out such work. The top graduates have been encouraged to use their skills to start a small business and assist others on the island while gaining an income.
After the training programme finished, the number of calls to the Red Cross team reduced significantly. On 11 June 2008, the Red Cross presented diplomas and top graduate awards for domestic household skills.
“This has been an opportunity to share life skills and shows how adaptable the Maldivian people are,” said Mike Wolfenden, Red Cross logistics manager. “Passing on skills means the local population can manage their own lives.”
More stories about building new homes
More about our tsunami recovery programme