Recovering from a disaster is a deeply human event – it requires us to reach deep inside of ourselves and bring to others the best of who we can be. It’s painful, tiring, rewarding and meaningful. The responsibility can be heavy and at times you may feel alone. This is your companion through chaos that will connect you with over 100 other people who have walked in similar shoes.
This Companion is about leadership in disaster recovery. Many, like those who contributed, will not identify as leaders – yet they undoubtedly are. Leadership takes many shapes. It takes a web of connected and supported leaders to catch the opportunities that recovery offers communities.
Manuals for recovery programming abound. This is not one. This Companion shares hard-won wisdom and practical strategies. These are the messages others wished they’d had, and tools for putting these ideas in place because in a pressured environment with many priorities, hearing the message is often not enough. We have distilled the wisdom of more than 100 leaders in recovery who have gone before. The insights shared so generously were honest, personal and brave and have resulted in a companion to serve and support others.
This poster features photographs and messages from some of the leaders from earthquake recovery in Christchurch, New Zealand. We asked them to think of a way to show their leadership journey that could be caught in a photo. The resulting images reflect the diversity of leadership: I scrambled up hillsides to photograph an uplifting view of home, was guided through a construction site, visited a marae, a café, a park and a university. I met with some people for a few minutes and others for hours. The range and differences among the leaders were striking, but one constant stood out: the inspiration and passion that each one brings to Canterbury’s recovery. Rachel Banfield, photographer