RedR

RedR is an international disaster relief charity which trains aid workers and provides skilled professionals to humanitarian programmes worldwide, helping to save and rebuild the lives of people affected by natural and man-made disasters.
Apr 26, 2016

Safer Schools in Pakistan - Next Steps in 2016

Schoolchildren in Lower Dir (c) Usman Ghani
Schoolchildren in Lower Dir (c) Usman Ghani

Since 2013, RedR UK has been delivering our Safer Schools project in the Khyber Pakhtinukhwa (KPK) region of Pakistan, an area that is prone to natural and manmade disasters. Our project provides training to local teachers to help ensure schoolchildren are prepared to respond to disasters when they strike.

Thanks to our supporters, last year we were able to train over 70 teachers in essential Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Conflict Security skills. These teachers were then able to pass on these skills to local schoolchildren. 

Next Steps

So far, the project has exclusively focused on the KPK region of Pakistan. However, in 2016 we are aiming to extend training to another region of Pakistan - Azad, Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

AJK is a region that is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, including earthquakes, flooding, and landslides. These threats are compounded by instability caused by the ongoing Kashmir conflict with India. As a result, there is a strong need for DRR training within local schools to help local communities prepare for these disasters.

The Project

In 2016, we will help to ensure local communities are better prepared by:

  • Delivering training to teachers from over 50 schools in the region through four seven-day courses.
  • Coach these participants to pass on training to fellow teachers and local schoolchildren.
  • Conduct disaster-awareness sessions in each of the 50 schools.
  • Support those trained to deliver disaser planning sessions and emergency drills in their schools.

Outcomes

As a result of the project, 100 teachers from AJK will be trained. They will then go on to pass these skills on to at least 64 fellow teachers and 4,991 schoolchildren. 

As a result, local teachers and schoolchildren will be better prepared to respond to future disasters in the region, helping to minimise their impact on communities throughout AJK.

Jan 29, 2016

Update January 2016

Schoolchildren in Aligrama, KP Province
Schoolchildren in Aligrama, KP Province

It is now three months since a devestating earthquake struck the Hindu Kush region in South Asia. Almost 300 people were killed in the disaster, and over 2,300 people injured.

In Pakistan's northwest region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one of the main areas hit by the earthquake, RedR UK has been working with teachers and community-based organisations to train them to introduce disaster risk management techniques into local schools. This ensures that schoolchildren know how to respond safely when an earthquake like this happens, helping to save lives.

In December 2015, RedR UK's Pakistan Country Representative Mubashir Fida traveled to visit some of the districts where we have been delivering training to find out how our work helped them to respond to the recent disaster.

Education as a tool for peace

During his trip, Mubashir visited a sports day organised by the Peace Education and Development (PEAD) project, which aims to provide relief to local children who face the threat of both natural and man-made disasters. This is a joint initiative, organised in partnership with local public schools and Madrassas (religious schools). The aim is to bring children from different educational backgrounds together so they can exchange ideas and learn from each other.

Tariq Hayat, a Project Manager at PEAD, attended RedR's Safer Schools training in October 2015. Since then, he has been incorporating ideas on safety, security, and conflict-sensitive education into the curriculum of this project and ones simliar to it - which have so far been implimented in ten public schools and ten Madrasas in KP Province. He has been able to pass on knowledge gained through our training to a further 61 male teachers, and three additional female staff members, who have gone on to train 50 female teachers.

"This knowledge can save lives."

In Swat, another district in KP province, Mubashir visited local children who had been taught by their teachers what to do when an earthquake strikes, all of whom received training as part of the Safer School project. 15-year-old Rukhsana, who received training from her Headmaster who attended one of our courses, said:

"I learnt that if an earthquake happens, we should get under a table, or keep book bags over our heads and walk slowly out of the building. Once we go into open ground we should do a headcount to check no-one is missing. we were taught not to panic and not to push others when evacuating the building: rather we should look out for our friends and help as much as we can.

I taught my sisters, nieces and nephews what to do if an earthquake happens. When the earthquake struck in October, we were having lunch. Some guests had come from the neighbouring village with small children. I instructed everybody to move slowly towards the exist and assemble in the garden.

We noticed that two elderly ladies were missing, and my younger nephew and I went back into the house and brought them out slowly. My mother is very proud and said that it is good to take care of each other in such situations. She said, 'If you had not learn all this at school, we should have had no clue. This knowlede can save lives.'"

Helping women take the lead in disaster preparedness and response

Mubashir also visited a school in Upper Badawan, another district in KP province. There he met with Bibi Rizwana, a school principle who attended RedR training in 2014 and 2015, and since then has passed on the skills she learnt to both students and fellow teachers. She said:

"The community we live in is a conflict area, and the men often go out to work during the day. This means the responsibility for keeping our houses and community safe often falls on women: we're the ones who have to take the lead. For me, the best of the training was when we learnt about safety and security management for the school. Now, when I walk to and from school, I look out for threats or suspicious things.

This training is very good for teachers. All of us are passing it on. I think every woman in the community should have the opportunity to take this training. It would help us keep the community safe and secure".

Safer Schools in 2016

The latest round of training took place between July-October 2015. RedR's staff in Pakistan are currently designing the next phase of the project to train more teachers like Bibi this year. This will ensure that when the next disaster strikes, be it natural or man-made, local children have the knowlege and confidence to respond in a way that will minimise its impact and save lives.

All photos © Usman Ghani for RedR UK.

Muhammad at the PEAD sports day
Muhammad at the PEAD sports day
Disaster Preparedness Training in KP Province
Disaster Preparedness Training in KP Province
Earthquake preparedness exercise in KP Province
Earthquake preparedness exercise in KP Province
First Aid training in local schools, KP Province
First Aid training in local schools, KP Province
Aug 28, 2015

Update 28th August

It is now over five months since the tragic April 25th earthquake struck Nepal, and RedR continues to play a key role in the country's rebuilding efforts.

With the help of our donors, we are training local NGO staff, government employees and communities, ensuring that they have the skills they need to help the people of Nepal recover from the earthquakes - and to prepare for and mitigate the impact of future disasters.

To date, a total of 226 people have taken part in RedR training.

WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)

When opportunites for water contaminatin and the adoption of bad hygiene practices are rife, WaSH is of critical importance. To date, our experts have provided two one-day open training sessions on hygiene promotion and community mobilisation, and three sessions on safe latrine construction. 85% of participants rated the training as good or excellent.

RedR has alos provided WaSH in Emergencies training to 66 Save the Children staff in three districts: Dhulikel, Nuwakot, and Mugling.

Shelter

According to the Nepalese government, 604,930 houses were "fully damaged" by the earthquakes, and 288,856 were "partially damaged". But it's not only a matter of reconstructing damaged houses: it's essential that affect communities are able to "build back better" so that future disasters don't have such a devestating impact. With this in mind, RedR has trained 20 members of staff from the Save the Children and their local partners in safe shelter construction, during a nine-day Training of Trainers programme in Dolakha District.

We've also provided Save the Children staff in Nuwakot District with training in safe Temporary Learning Centre construction, helping to ensure that children can continue their education whilst reconstruction efforts are ongoing.

Supporting the sector

RedR is also using its expertise to benefit the humanitarian sector as a whole: 

  • In the wake of the disaster, national and international NGOs in Nepal expanded the scale of their operations and took on extra staff, many of whom, although dedicated, have little or no experience in humanitarian aid work. That’s why, along with technical capacity-building, we've provided training in Project Cycle Management and Essentials of Humanitarian Practice to a total of 74 local and international aid workers in Kathmandu and Chitwan.
  • In early July, RedR facilitated a Lessons Learned Workshop for 30 staff from ADRA, helping them to analyse and capitalise on their response to the earthquakes. 
  • Our partners Ramboll advised representatives of Chautara Municipality on safe demolition, helping them carry out structural assessments and drawing up guidelines for the future. 
Photos  Solidarites International, and Sam Spicke
Photos Solidarites International, and Sam Spicke
 
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