Preparing for Disaster in Negros Oriental
Disaster preparedness training came to Negros Oriental, one of the provinces in the Philippines most visited by typhoons, particularly in the town of La Libertad. A first in the municipality, it targeted young adults, children and youth leaders.
Conducted in two parts, the training aimed to empower even the vulnerable in case of calamities. The first part was a disaster-risk preparedness training for young adults and children. The second part was designed to equip youth leaders, particularly the newly-elected officers of Sangguniang Kabataan, with knowledge and tools to lead communities when disasters strike.
The most vulnerable during a disaster are children, pregnant woman, elderly, and persons with disabilities, one of the training organizers, Arriane Moya of Yes Pinoy Foundation, said. Thus the training aimed to educate children on what should be done during a disaster and how they could help their family members.
Go Bags, emergency kits which contain essentials that would come in handy should a calamity strike, were given out to the children who were taught how to use its contents.
In the case of youth leaders, it is expected that more disaster risk-reduction initiatives would follow given that they can mobilize citizens in mitigating the adverse effects of natural calamities in the municipality.
The campaign also aimed to inform the participants on the effects of climate change as well as mitigate its effects through active involvement of citizens.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation, in partnership with Yes Pinoy Foundation and the local government of La Libertad, held the training on June 10, 2018. Yes Pinoy Foundation is an advocacy group which empowers service-oriented youths in leading and spreading education on climate change and disaster risk reduction management campaigns.
Rep. Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong of the 1st District of Negros Oriental said, “We are honored to have FNF in La Libertad, the Land of the Free, a couple of days before celebrating the Philippine Independence Day [on June 12] and during the environment month, to empower youth leaders in promoting a more resilient, more participative and freer communities.”
Wolfgang Heinze, country director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in the Philippines, said that “education paves the way for appropriate action.” He explained: “Knowledge on disaster risk management and environmental sustainability would enable people to create initiatives—directly create or be part of solutions. This makes them free to take part in solutions which ensure that generations to come will enjoy the benefits of having a smarter and greener environment.”