Save the Children Philippines welcomes partnership with the Department of Education and Prudence Foundation in strengthening safety in schools as millions of children face risk of injury, psychosocial trauma and deaths during disasters and emergencies.
The project-Education Safe from Disasters was launched on January 16, 2019 to be implemented by the Department of Education, in partnership with Save the Children Philippines and Prudence Foundation.
The three year project improves the capacity of learners, teachers, schools staff and officials on disaster preparedness and risk reduction. It also integrates safety and disaster resiliency in the construction and retrofitting of school buildings. The program will be pilot tested in 16 schools division in Metro Manila.
The Philippines ranks third in the 2016 World Risk Index of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Every year, the country is hit by almost all forms of natural and man-made calamities like typhoons, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, landslides. Lingering armed conflict in Mindanao and parts of Visayas continue to disrupt classes and displace families and children.
Lawyer Albert Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines said safety in schools guarantee children’s rights to survival and basic education.
Learners spend five to eight hours in schools during weekdays and their safety and security should be ensured while they are away from parents and guardians.
From 2007 to 2012, a total of 11 Million schoolchildren in the Philippines were affected by major disasters jeopardizing their rights to education and survival.
“Children face the harshest impact of disasters and emergencies, as they miss out on school, suffer injury and worse, deaths,” said Muyot. “We welcome the Education Safe from Disasters as part of our comprehensive child-rights based response to the needs of learners before, during and after disasters and emergencies.”
Save the Children Philippines has been providing emergency response during disasters by establishing Child Friendly Space (CFS) where displaced children can play and learn and Temporary Learning Space (TLS) where school age children can attend alternative classes.
The organization has provided interventions for thousands of displaced children during typhoon Mangkhut that hit Northern Luzon provinces and armed conflict in Marawi.