As rainy season intensifies across the country, Educo is doing an awareness campaign entitled, ‘Batang Preparado, Protektado!’
Part of the awareness campaign is the distribution of rainy season protective gears, umbrellas and raincoats, to its partner schools in Albay and Camarines Sur. Orientation sessions are also being given to supreme student and pupil governments in school, together with teachers, to let them know that children should play an active role in disaster preparedness.
Educo hopes that through the distribution of umbrellas and raincoats bearing the message, ‘Batang Preparado, Protektado,’ children and adults are reminded that everyone should be part of disaster preparedness.
“We can help,” says pupils in Tagaytay Elementary School in Camalig, one of Educo’s partner institutions. Children often want to contribute, but adults need to give them the opportunity to do so, especially in matters that affect them.
Educo emphasizes the importance of including vulnerable sectors–children, differently-abled people, elderly, and pregnant women–in the making of contingency plans at home, in schools, and in government. Children, based on their stage of development and maturity, already know what they need to prepare for in times of disasters that adults may overlook.
Pupils at Tagaytay Elementary, Camalig, Albay show off new Educo umbrellas they received on 12 December 2016. Distribution of rainy season protective gears is as part of the “Batang Preparado, Protektado” awareness campaign on child participation in disaster preparedness.
Enjoining children in disaster preparedness benefits everyone. It introduces children to climate change and risk management. And when children learn, it creates a whole generation of people who have a strong sense of community and perpetuates a culture of resiliency. It helps us grow as a society.
Child participation also makes disaster preparedness plans more inclusive. Taking inputs from all sectors seriously ensures that plans really consider the needs of every member of the community it was made for–especially the most vulnerable ones. Finally, participating helps a child emotionally and psychologically prepare for the possible impacts of a crisis.
Educo recommends that children join in disaster preparedness through the following:
- With guidance from adults, children are capable of gathering and checking first aid materials or toiletries. They can also help properly store cleaning tools or devices.
- Children may volunteer in relief aid. Prior a storm, for example, they can help collect and coordinate relief goods in the community or at school.
- Older siblings (ate and kuya) can serve as ‘team leaders’ at home and help keep an eye on their brothers, sisters, friends, or relatives. Classroom officers can also do this role in school.
- They can contribute to emergency information by reporting the whereabouts or location of friends, classmates, relatives, or other children. Children communicate, interact, and share information with each other that adults may not be aware of.
The ‘Batang Preparado, Protektado!‘ awareness campaign on child participation in disaster preparedness is only part of Educo’s comprehensive programming to uphold child rights in Bicol. More trainings and learning materials on disaster preparedness, education, and nutrition can be expected from until 2019. Educo provides intervention at school, community, and government levels in order to create an environment that allows for children to fully enjoy their rights to survival, development, protection, and participation.