|Learning about Natural Disasters - Games and projects for you and your friends (IDNDR-DIRDN)|
This booklet encourages children to help protect their community from natural hazards. It features a range of community activities based on ideas used by children in many countries. This booklet has been launched for the 1995 International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction.
Earthquakes, floods, severe storms and other extreme natural events have always been a part of nature and history. Recently, however, more people have become vulnerable to disasters than before, for reasons of rapid population growth, increasing environmental degradation and poverty. As a result, disasters kill one million people and leave millions more homeless each decade. Economic losses from natural disasters have tripled in the last thirty years.
Sustained community action can help reverse these patterns, and children have two essential roles in this process. First, through school activities that involve their community, children can raise public awareness about risks and motivate others to take protective measures. Children are also the key to instilling a "culture of prevention'' in our societies, for a safer world in the 21st century. They can learn at an early age to respect our environment and understand development consequences, building habits that last a lifetime.
The booklet is designed to be used by schools around the world, to complement existing materials about natural disasters in each country. Targeted for ages 8-12, some parts can be tailored to both younger and older children. Learning about natural disasters can be included in studies about:
· your community;
· other communities or countries;
· the ways people view disasters - through religion, folk tales and art;
· the ways people interact with their environment.
You may also wish to invite professionals in your community to visit your class, such as the fire chief, the mayor, a meteorologist, a journalist...
We hope your class enjoys these activities. Please write to the IDNDR secretariat about how you have used them, so that your activities can be shared with other interested people around the world. Reproduction in part or in whole for non-commercial purposes is encouraged; please credit the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction secretariat; send information about publications, conferences or media where the booklet is a reference. If you are interested in producing a local language version or sponsoring reprints, please contact IDNDR.