Mothers as active contributors to post-earthquake recovery in Christchurch
Keywords:Mothers, Disaster recovery, Christchurch earthquakes, Resilience
INTRODUCTION: An understanding of mothers as a subset of women who are active contributors to a recovery effort is crucial to building disaster resilience. This study explored the post-disaster experiences of mothers from the two Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 to consider factors which both helped and hindered their recovery.
METHOD: This research was a qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with six married mothers who were present during the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. Interviews focused on understanding the personal, environmental and psychological impacts of the earthquakes. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
FINDINGS: Three key findings were established, highlighting: 1) Elements of resilience are essential for recovery; 2) mothers playing a constructive and proactive role in their community post-disaster; and 3) the importance of a sense of belonging to enhance post-disaster recovery.
CONCLUSION: While participants were affected practically and psychologically by the earthquakes, core characteristics of resilience such as positivity, hope, flexibility and adaptability were portrayed in supporting their post-disaster recovery. These mothers played an active role in the recovery of their community and felt a clear sense of belonging which enhanced their recovery.
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