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Inclusive disaster risk reduction education for more resilient children

© UNICEF Turkmenistan/2017/Pudlowski

13 October 2017, Ashgabat – Today, on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Ministry of Education in partnership with UNICEF presented the package of the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DiDRR) national education materials.

The launch took place at the Rehabilitation Teaching and Education Complex of Ashgabat city, which implements Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) with UNICEF’s support. All key partners - the Ministry of Education, National Institute of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, National Red Crescent Society, «Yenme», an NGO working on disability issues, UNDP, and media - working towards accelerating efforts in integrating DRR strategies in national systems, participated in and observed the DRR event.

Designed for the preschool education, the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction learning materials have been adapted to the context of Turkmenistan. These lifesaving resources will enable learning of preschool children, including those with disabilities about safe and protective behaviours to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

“We feel proud that Turkmenistan is the first country in Central Asian region, which started rolling out inclusive approaches to DRR in education system. The Ministry of Education is committed to continue and build on the achievements in scaling up DRR programmes across the country to make sure that all children are empowered and resilient. It is planned to introduce the DiDRR educational materials not only at the preschool level but also for primary school education in the country. The progress in education system would not have been possible without cross-sectoral cooperation and hard work of all the partners and technical support of UNICEF,” highlighted Tamara Hojamedova, the representative of the Ministry of Education, a national coordinator of the DRR in Education initiative.

During the course of the launch event, representatives of the Ministry of Defence and National Red Crescent Society also presented the results of their work in strengthening the capacity of the national systems and communities in the area of DRR. UNICEF highlighted the increasing importance of the climate change for children issue globally and in the context of country. The participants shared the vision of the future strategic directions in DRR at the national level. The National Strategy on DRR, which was developed with technical support of UNDP and UNICEF, was mentioned as a potential platform to effectively realize the Sendai Framework of Action and the 2030 Development Agenda adopted by the Government of Turkmenistan.

Education specialists and children of the Rehabilitation Teaching and Education Complex of Ashgabat carried out a simulation exercise to demonstrate how young children with disabilities can apply their skills in responding to a fire and earthquake, while educators were able to interact with the children using child-centred and disability inclusive methodologies. “It’s often time, we, at UNICEF question and challenge ourselves and stakeholders if the programme interventions are sufficiently impactful on children, especially those in need. With such cross-sectoral commitment and consistent work in DRR in Education, we believe that all children of the country, including children with disabilities, will enjoy safer lives and more resilient schools”, said Siraj Mahmudlu, UNICEF Deputy Representative.

On this day, UNICEF and all partners, including children with disabilities joined the global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction and reinforced joint commitment in building more inclusive and disaster resilient communities and the whole country. The video about the resilience of girls before and during emergencies in the Europe and Central Asian region resonated among all partners. According to the participants, the observance of the International DRR Day provided an opportunity for all stakeholders including, civil society organizations, UN agencies and media, to promote best practice in disaster inclusive DRR across all sectors.

UNICEF has been supporting the Government of Turkmenistan in disaster risk reduction programmes since 2012 under the European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) funding.

 

 
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