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Children learn survival in disaster situations

Youth is the group most affected by disasters: over 100 million young people including children would be affected every year (UNISDR). To keep themselves safe and improve the disaster preparedness of their communities, we encourage children to develop their survival skills. Discover what is a “Disaster Preparedness and Survival Skills Training” camp.

survival camp

Children first

It is important to teach the children because they are the most affected but also the new generations are more open minded and ready to learn new things. They are the future of the community.” Benjaphorn, Project Coordinator.

During a camp, around 100 children can participate. In Thailand, since the beginning of the project, 700 students and 120 teachers in total already received training.

Learning practical survival skills

survival camp2

It was important for me to participate in the camp because I don’t want to see anybody dying in an earthquake. It is important to know the survival skills, and especially to learn what to do when earthquakes strike. My school is located in a risk area. It can happen at any time. I want to know how to react.” Ler, 17 years old.

During 3 days of camp, children learn:

  • school risk area mapping,
  • evacuation exercices,
  • fire prevention and extinguishing practice,
  • abseiling with ropes to escape from a building
  • basic first aid (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, treatment of broken arms or legs, stopping bleeding…)
  • reaction during an earthquake…

I personally experimented an earthquake one day, thankfully no children were in the school at this time. Our school is very involved in disaster preparedness and Plan International brings us lot of new knowledge. And these practical exercises are crucial for them. If a disaster happens, the children need to react quickly and effectively.” Seksan Sithiwan, teacher.

Sharing this experience and becoming leaders

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The camps help the children to develop their competence but also their leadership skills, they feel more confident after. After the camp, they will become Youth leaders and we will work together to spread their knowledge with the others students. “ Seksan Sithiwan, teacher.

With their teacher, the children will be part of the emergency committees, they will prepare risk mapping in their schools and lead evacuation exercises.

“I will share my knowledge with the other students and with my family. I will organize meetings in my school and in my community to share what I learned. I will also participate in a radio broadcast about disaster risks each Friday.” Jeen, 14 years old.

After a camp, my personal satisfaction is to think ‘Now, they are safer’” Benjaphorn, Project Coordinator.

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Camps are part of the Safe Schools Global Programme that Plan International currently run in 31 disaster-prone countries across the world. Our programmes work to ensure that schools are safely built and children are educated about how they can prepare for disasters and reduce the risks. Using an innovative child-centred approach, the programme aims to reach 1,531,000 children across 40 countries by 2017.

In Thailand, 700 students and 120 teachers in total have already received training. Plan International operates in 3 risk areas: Chiang Rai, Chaing Mai and Mae Sot.

These areas are particularly exposed to earthquakes, landslides and forest fires.

“Our last ‘survival camp’ took place in Chiang Rai. It is on a fault zone and in a mountain area. Disasters happen there more often and are more serious than before.” Benjaphorn, Project Coordinator.