"Invest in Future" shed knowledge on disaster risk management among school children in Colombo
A one day event on disaster preparedness and response called “Invest In Future” was held in Colombo on the 31st of March 2010. This “Edutainment” (Education + Entertainment) programme intended to provide a crash course on Disaster Risk Management to 450 school children and 50 teachers from the District of Colombo. The participants learnt about basic first-aid, handling of wounds, bleeding, fractures, patient transportation, solid waste segregation and fire safety. They also brushed up their knowledge on disaster preparedness through a variety of practical sessions, group discussions, street drama performances and multimedia presentations on landslides, lightening and floods. The children were also informed of the activities carried out by the Disaster Management Centre around the country.
Like last year’s programme this one day event was organized by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights and UNDP’s Disaster Risk Management programme, with the collaboration of the Education Ministry, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO), the Meteorological Department, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Firetech (Pvt) Ltd and the Waste Management Unit of the Central Environment Authority.
Realizing the importance in involving the youth in disaster management, this programme aimed to provide an understanding of the role they can play, and create curiosity and enthusiasm among school children about Disaster Management. The programme also provided knowledge on how to react when disaster strikes and how to be prepared to face emergency situations.
Plans are underway to take the “Invest in future” programme across the country, with the belief that school children who learn about disasters will become ambassadors in promoting a culture of safety to the wider community.