Education International has launched an urgent action appeal, calling on its members to show solidarity with Dominican teachers and their families after the tropical storm Erika badly struck the Caribbean island of Dominica.
Erika, which struck on 29 August, “has set the country back by 20 years,” Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen explains in the urgent action appeal, adding that nine communities have been declared ‘disaster areas.’
“Education International will help the [Dominica Association of Teachers] and its members through humanitarian aid and support for restoring the education system,” van Leeuwen promises.
The Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT) has sent EI alarming information regarding damage to the education system in the wake of the storm: 14 schools on the island were partly or completely destroyed; others cannot be reached due to destruction of road infrastructure, or are being used as shelters for people who lost their homes.
One of the worst affected areas appears to be the village of Petite Savanne, where 20 residents lost their lives and another 19 remain missing. The Petite Savanne Primary School has been covered by mudslides. No less than 217 homes were destroyed, including those of the teachers, principal and staff of the school. In the nearby village of Dubuc, about 100 homes were destroyed and villagers were evacuated to the Bagatelle Primary School. In Bagatelle, the preschool building is in ruins.
Education International is appealing to its member organisations to show solidarity with their Dominican brothers and sisters by sending urgent contributions to the EI solidarity account:
Avenue Marnix, 24, B-1000 Brussels - Belgium
IBAN: BE05 3101 0061 7075
with the reference “Solidarity with Dominica”