theme of this year’s World Disaster Reduction Campaign is “learning”.
One of the best times to instil learning about the risks and vulnerabilities associated with hazards is at an early age. Young people represent the future; if we are to ensure that they live in disaster-resilient societies, they need to be aware of those hazards that threaten them, their families and their friends, and be familiar with what can be done to reduce their negative consequences.
As young people grow and experience life, they absorb much about the environment in which they live, often generating interest in what part they play in ensuring a sustainable future for themselves, their children, and their children’s children. Their involvement in disaster reduction is therefore essential to increase the long-term resilience of communities.
Community empowerment through learning
Public awareness and understanding are key components in the achievement of disaster risk reduction. Learning about how to minimise risk and vulnerability to disasters encourages people to take the initiative to prevent, mitigate and prepare for a potential disaster.
When young people learn about disaster reduction at school, they are in the powerful position of sharing what they are taught in class with their families and friends. As a result, the entire community can learn and benefit from the knowledge of how they can best reduce disaster impacts, potentially saving lives and property.