Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Educational 'Model'. Emergency Management Training, and International Service


"Leaders don't force people to follow, they invite them on a journey" - Charles S Lauer

From: BEMA - Black Emergency Managers Association []
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:16 PM
Subject: A New Educational 'Model'. Emergency Management Training, and International Service


I’m smiling because I may have opened a can of worms.

Being on the OUTSIDE of the academic educational system (lack of PhD credentials), to propose this model of alternative education with local, national, and international ramifications require our illustrious members with these credentials to take this premise\theory and implement or test this model.

Something like this would never be applied or implemented in a quick and ‘dirty’ fashion, but under strict academic scrutiny, and record keeping.  I don’t think anyone wants to take on the burden because it’s……so ‘out of the box’.

With our urban and inner city youths, that have not achieved the outstanding grades within the current educational model nor the awards, scholarships, and financial assistance to pursue even a complete high school education.  These are the individuals that this type of model would address.  Those individual on the corner, waking up every day in search of a job, meaning, future, and hope in life needing something that would require a great change in their current existence to push them to new heights that we can only imagine.

We always forget these individual except when they cause a problem and are noticed in their community by law enforcement, and are about to or are within the youth criminal and social system or institution.  The current educational models do not appeal to them.  Resistance is high.

I remember the legal system would give individuals a choice at one time, jail or the military.  Many picked the military and this brought about changes both socially and financially to the individual, their families, and their communities.

With the elimination of the draft we’ve lost an avenue to exponentially move members of our community further up social and financial status.

The current models will not work.  Both you (maybe) and I were rebellious  when we were young.  But not this rebellious to totally have our rebellious nature make an impression of others that reflect on our family, friends, local and national community.

Emergency management education for the individual, family, local and national community can now propel these individual to find a calling by giving them an alternate form of education, providing a hands-on practical experience outside of the U.S. living on a local country economy while getting a small stipend from the Peace Corp or other international organization.  18-25 year-olds in the FEMA Corp receive a small salary, same amount could suffice. 

But who are those individuals within the FEMA Corp?  Are they the at risk youths mentioned above?  Ask, find out!

… be continued

Louis will only give a little bit to spark the interest.  If the interest is there with others in replies I’ll continue.  Don’t want to write a whole treatise on the subject of a ‘NEW MODEL’ to change urban and inner city communities.


From: Louis (SEA) []
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 5:16 PM
Subject: RE: Water & Food, most vital resources: Malnutrition Killing Children in Cameroon

With little or no effort we could accomplish what the “Back to Africa” moment could only dream of by getting our youth to embrace the idea of being shipped out of here back home…

From: BEMA - Black Emergency Managers Association []
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 9:32 AM
To: BEMA - Black Emergency Managers Association
Subject: RE: Water & Food, most vital resources: Malnutrition Killing Children in Cameroon

Rick, I’ve stripped off your email information. Fantastic idea.  

Taking ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking even further.

All the FEMA EMI training courses probably add up to a two-year associates degree.  Only costs are time, and conversion of the CEU units to a two or four year college\university.  This is the essence of what BEMA has been advocating, especially for disadvantaged, African-American and other communities.

For funding?  Will colleges and universities accept the CEU conversion, and promote the PEACE CORP, or other humanitarian aid international programs to get our youths to those locations. 

Safety?  If safety is a concern are we safe in our own communities here in the U.S.?   You and I both know that we and other ex-military have a greater appreciation for ‘the world’, and coming home.  There is a difference in reading or seeing things in the newspapers on the hardship and suffering of others in other countries then being there.

Imagine the changes in the world of taking urban, inner city youths with EM training skills TOTALLY out of their environment?  This would be practicing SERVICE.

The changes and improvements we could make to the world in the ‘whole world community’.

ALL WE NEED ARE TWO educational institutions to implement, and the changes will start one person, one family, and one community at time.


From: Rick's GMail []
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 6:15 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: Water & Food, most vital resources: Malnutrition Killing Children in Cameroon

I really enjoy being included on your email list.  Today's message brought out a great point worth repeating, and I had to comment!
Imagine the powerful impact 50 kids could make if we could get them through a 2 year emergency management certification program with a bit of intern time, and then get them into the Peace Corps.  Everyone would win!
Imagine how this would magnify if we did this every year.  
I really think you are on to something with this concept.  The question now is how do we find funding to help an effort like this.
Anyway, thanks again and keep the mail coming!
Rick Sacca
Shizuoka, Japan

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 25, 2013, at 18:46, "BEMA - Black Emergency Managers Association" <> wrote:

Going thru my nightly\morning international SITREPS, came across this article on Cameroon.

I know your daughter is there with the Peace Corp and is probably encountering many instances of this in her assignment.  She may have ran into the same instances during her tour of Kenya.

From an EM standpoint communities even within the U.S. should be planning for water and food disruptions.  Prices are so high in the markets, even corporations are starting to promote farmers markets on their premises for their employees.

As with water distribution, food distribution\initiatives along the same line as medicine points of distribution (POD) for pandemics.  I know that China supplies major food staples, and other food items to many African and Middle East nations with many of their products tainted with toxic chemicals.

I know she can reach out to you if she needs any advice.  Let me know if you’d like  ‘reach back’ to me.  Increasing our presence in the United Nations, with some contacts in Cameroon.  I can increase the message traffic on how they’re addressing this and other issues.

Don’t forget to start practicing your French if you’re going to visit.  Hey, I can only do the military versions of any language. 

If only the rules would change for entrance, acceptance, and country assignments for U.S. students to serve in the Peace Corp.  With emergency management training, and their major studies we could send many from the urban and inner city areas to other countries to get the experience.  Imagine what 50 students from every state or HBCU like your daughter serve.  Wow.

She’ll come back ready for a UN, or Department of State post.



At the Garoua Regional Hospital’s Paediatric Feeding Centre in northern Cameroon, Aicha Ahidjo* is relieved to hear that her one-year-old son will survive. The child was suffering from chronic malnutrition, and other children have died of it. It has cost Ahidjo a lot to get her son Ahmadou here. ... MORE > >
Malnutrition Killing Children in Cameroon

A nutritionist assesses the health of a child: red indicates severe malnutrition. Malnutrition has become a growing concern in northern Cameroon. Credit:Kristin Palitza/IPS
YAOUNDE, Jul 22 2013 (IPS) - At the Garoua Regional Hospital’s Paediatric Feeding Centre in northern Cameroon, Aicha Ahidjo* is relieved to hear that her one-year-old son will survive. The child was suffering from chronic malnutrition, and other children have died of it.
It has cost Ahidjo a lot to get her son Ahmadou here. Ahmadou showed symptoms of swollen feet and dry and thinning hair. The 30-year-old mother was forced to defy her husband and bring their son to hospital. The child had developed Kwashiorkor as a result of severe protein deficiency.
“Some months after the birth of the child, I fell pregnant again,” Ahidjo, who is six months pregnant, tells IPS.
“Infant malnutrition is also due to the fact that very few infants are breastfed exclusively for the first six months after birth,." -- Director of Health Promotion in the Ministry of Health Dr. Sa’a
“I had to wean him, but his father didn’t want me to give him infant formula. He discouraged me from continuing to breastfeed the child and told me to feed him maize porridge and rock salt.” She was powerless to refuse her husband.
“I gave in, but after some time I noticed that the child was tired and his skin was thinning. I spoke to my mother who told me that these were signs of malnutrition,” she explains.
“Against my husband’s advice, I brought the child to hospital. The doctors here told me that I arrived just in time. Thank God.”
Ahmadou is not the only child at the hospital suffering from malnutrition.
In June, the centre’s medical staff registered 31 malnourished children. Six died, one recovered and 21 were transferred to other hospitals. The remaining three children, including Ahmadou, stayed at the hospital for treatment.
Six-year-old Haouwa Aboui* was the last child to die at this centre in June. Her 60-year-old grandmother, Maimouna Aboui*, sits in front of their home, fatigued and despondent.
“There are 16 of us living in this hut and there is not enough food. The little one could not bear the starvation,” Aboui tells IPS. “I was advised to give her water with sugar to give her energy. Her mother and I did that for two weeks. She died the day after we arrived at the hospital.”
According to the most recent study by the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), published in October 2011, 33 percent of under-fives in Cameroon suffer from chronic malnutrition and 14 percent of them are severely malnourished.
The community health division in the Ministry of Public Health believes that malnutrition is closely linked to Cameroon’s complex climate. In parts of the Adamawa, North and Far North Regions – a dry and semi-arid zone – nutritional deterioration is present among a large proportion of Cameroonian children and refugees, according to the ministry.
In addition, the massive displacement of Chadian and Central African Republic refugees has added to the growing number of people unable to access food.
The Far North and North Regions have the highest rate of infant malnutrition in the country because of a lack of food during the lean season, which lasts from mid-June to the end of August. Another contributing factor is the poor variety of foods consumed by the population, such as millet and sorghum.
However, malnutrition is prevalent throughout the country, says Ines Lezama, a nutrition specialist at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Cameroon.
Celine Essengue, a member of local NGO Enfants Cameroun, gave IPS her assessment of the situation: “Cameroon is known to be a food-sufficient country. This means that the country doesn’t need to import food as it produces enough to feed its population. Poverty is preventing the Cameroonian people from having access to a varied and balanced diet.”
Related IPS Articles
·         Tackle Malnutrition Now
According to NIS, 44 percent of children suffering from chronic malnutrition in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community live in Cameroon.
UNICEF estimates that 57,616 children under the age of five are at risk of severe acute malnutrition in the North and Far North regions of the country, and that 145,000 children under the age of five will have stunted growth.
Director of health promotion in the Ministry of Health, known only as Dr. Sa’a, told journalists at a recent briefing that “obesity is also a sign of malnutrition. Infant malnutrition is also due to the fact that very few infants are breastfed exclusively for the first six months after birth.”
UNICEF, in conjunction with the government, works in 19 feeding centres in order to prevent complications.
Dr. Joel Ekobena, a paediatrician at the Garoua district hospital, explains to IPS that they are increasingly working on prevention.
“We educate mothers to recognise the first signs of malnutrition and to take their children as soon as possible for a check-up.”
But access to healthcare also poses a problem: 23 out of 43 health districts in the North and Far North of the country are short of qualified personnel. According to NIS, the two regions have 92 doctors for an overall population of 5.5 million inhabitants.
*Names changed to protect their identity.

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