What is Resilience? It’s the ability of individuals, communities, or countries exposed to disasters to anticipate, reduce the impact of, cope with, and recover from the effects of adversity.
Our resilience initiatives reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen the ability of communities to keep healthy, connected, and organized. We work alongside communities all over the world to improve the quality of water, improve health practices, and increase community safety and cohesion, among other actions. These success stories are the result of joint efforts, as the American Red Cross partners with national societies, local institutions, schools, businesses, community leaders, and the communities themselves to address the needs and priorities identified in each community.
We emphasize proactive engagement and embrace communities’ roles as conveners, resource brokers and catalysts. Here, the two featured communities demonstrated a sense of empowerment over the knowledge and tools provided, leading them to make the best of their resources and overcome obstacles that held them back.
The community of Montecitos in El Salvador, built an evacuation route made of recycled material with Red Cross support. They took the lead in the development of the route, and that makes us proud. Not only did they make connections with external key players to acquire a large part of the material, but they also made use of their own internal resources, as the community members themselves helped build the route while guided by a member with previous construction knowledge.
In Cebadilla, after completing a Red Cross water and sanitation workshop, the participants opted for the installation of a community water filter rather than receiving individual household filters, portraying true solidarity and choosing the good of all rather than self-benefit. Their actions inspired the nearby community of Fátima to take example and do the same.
These initiatives strengthen communities and make households safer. They enhance preparedness in the face of predictable shocks, and reduce the effects of disasters.