OneMinutesJr workshop in Batken - Day 1
BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan, 18 November 2013 - 20 boys and girls from the Batken District in Kyrgyzstan have come together this week to produce a series of OneMinutesJr videos on Disaster Risk Reduction.
The children aged 12-17 will work on stories surrounding topics such as earthquakes, landslides, extreme weather conditions and also focus on creative ways of exposing shortcomings in the way people here in Kyrgyzstan prepare for these natural disasters.
After an introductory session with mutual introductions, we we are just about to get ready for the screening of films from other workshops we have held on this topic when a UNICEF colleague shows us a text message from the Kyrgyz MES, the Ministry for Emergency Situations. It tells us that the temperatures are about to drop significantly in the country this week and urges people to get prepared. With this in mind, the screening starts and is immediately followed by a brainstorming session with this very active group of participants.
Harsh weather conditions are one of the hazards here in Batken and the surrounding region. The children mention storms, floods and mudslides during the brainstorming and we will definitely film at least a handful of films about these issues. Batken is also in an earthquake-prone part of Central Asia and many of the participants have already witnessed at least minor earthquakes. Some have even lost neighbors or peers from their villages due to natural disasters.
During the discussions and the story development, we focus on solutions or at least on suggested changes to the current situation. When children get swept away by a raging river because the have to fetch water due to the lack of running water at home, there is surely room for development.
The children are also aware of the dangers surrounding the poorly maintained electricity cables throughout their cities and villages. They know that in a case of a natural disaster, these cables are likely to cause short circuits and set houses and shops on fire. Ishak (12) will produce his OneMinutesJr video on this topic, but we have already convinced him that we will use special effects for the sparks and nothing bad will happen.