Child welfare group pushes for active children participation in disaster risk reduction efforts
To help children protect themselves and their families during disasters and calamities, a child welfare group is pushing for the active participation of children in risk reduction management efforts.
On Wednesday, Akap Bata Philippines launched ‘Bata Bata sa Kalamidad Laging Handa’ aimed at training children on disaster risk reduction efforts.
Rev. Ruel Dia Gracia, executive director of Akap Bata Philippines, said the project was launched in time of the third anniversary Strorm Ondoy which left almost 277 people dead, 42 missing nationwide and caused an estimated P4.8 billion in damages in Metro Manila alone.
In a press statement, Dia Gracia said the project will focus on communities that were victims of recent calamities in Quezon City.
Kids aged 13-17 in the areas will be provided disaster management and reduction skills to enable them to protect themselves and other children and assist their parents and authorities implement disaster risk-reduction and management plans during calamities.
Dia Gracia said the key components of the project are seminar-workshops for child leaders in schools and neighborhood associations.
The seminars-workshops will include trainings on leadership, general orientation on DRRM, and key intervention skills such as data gathering and psycho-social programs during and after the calamities.
Akap Bata Philippines will also conduct a trainors’ trainings to enable the young people to echo what they learned in selected communities.
The group will be implementing the project in 35 disaster-prone communities in Quezon City. They picked the said areas based on the numbers of active student and children-leaders willing to volunteer on the project, number of existing people’s organizations and the gravity of active involvement of the barangay councils through their representatives.
“Throughout this project, we envision to develop empowered children, parents and families that will actively contribute in disaster management at the community level,” Dia Gracia said.
“Their actual involvement in disaster management plans, including planning itself, enables them to actively participate in various levels of disaster risk mitigation and management activities and consequently developing themselves in the process,” he further said. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, GMA News
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