Partners pledge to involve children in disaster management


Mr De Comarmond addressing guests at yesterday’s ceremony

The Children’s Charter is an action plan for disaster risk reduction for children by children.

It has been developed through consultations with more than 600 children in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The aim of this charter is to raise awareness on the need for a child-centred approach to disaster risk reduction and for stronger commitment from governments and other agencies to take the needed steps to protect children.

It also aims to use their energy and knowledge to engage in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Signing the pledge on Thursday at the Anse Royale primary school were principal secretaries for education Merida Delcy and for social development Linda William-Melanie and chief executive of the Seychelles National Youth Council Vicky van der Westhuizen.

The other two partners were director of the National Council for Children Ruby Pardiwalla and Flavien Joubert of the Environment Department on behalf of principal secretary Didier Dogley.

Attending the event were delegates from the Southern African Development Community countries and international organisations attending the regional disaster risk reduction workshop in Seychelles.

The Children’s Charter is based on several objectives which include making the schools safer where education must not be interrupted, making child protection a priority before, during and after a disaster and disaster risk reduction reaching the most vulnerable.

The signing was part of activities to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) under the international theme – Children and young people as partners in disaster reduction.

This year’s theme focuses on children and young people for three main reasons:
• To let the world know that children and young people are partners in reducing disaster risk
• To promote more partnerships with children and young people in disaster risk reduction
• To connect and build bridges and understanding among children and young people.

During the event, the primary school’s headteacher Sonia Mancienne gave a brief overview of the efforts the school has done since the 2004 tsunami, while Gina Balette led the audience through the schools’ action plan on disaster risk reduction.

Guests viewing the exhibition mounted by the Red Cross Club of the Anse Royale secondary school

She said the school is ready but there is a need for all organisations in the district to coordinate together if there is to be a disaster.

Anse Royale primary has set up a campaign with regard to disaster risk management, such as setting up a committee to organise activities at school level which includes mock drills every term.
The school has its own teams such as evacuation, first aid and counselling teams.

She added that teachers include disaster risks reduction in their teaching and parents are also educated on these issues.

Other activities at the school included an exhibition mounted by the Red Cross Club at the Anse Royale secondary school.

Those who signed the pledge were later given a token by the primary students.
The five partners have also pledged to report on the progress made at the Global Platform in 2013.

The main focus of the day is to celebrate and raise awareness about what we can all do to reduce our risk to disasters.

Director general Alain De Comarmond of the Risk and Disaster Management Division said the pledge will involve the children and young people in decision-making process relating to disaster risk reduction and activities at different levels, which will help prepare districts and organisations against disasters and risks.

Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *