Poster Competition Awards Ceremony Under UNICEF Project “Protecting Children in Emergencies by Strengthening the Capacity of Schools and Surrounding Communities to Respond to Disasters”
WHO: The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) requests coverage for the following event:
WHAT: Poster Competition Awards Ceremony under UNICEF Project “Protecting Children in Emergencies by Strengthening the Capacity of Schools and Surrounding Communities to Respond to Disasters”
WHERE: Medallion Hall Hotel, 53 Hope Road, Kingston 6
WHEN: Thursday, June 19, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
The project, “Protecting Children in Emergencies by Strengthening the Capacity of Schools and Surrounding Communities to Respond to Disasters,” was first initiated in 2005 by the then Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture (MOEYC), following several disasters across Jamaica, including hurricane Ivan in 2004, where children were deemed among the most vulnerable of the society. Lessons learnt in the aftermath of Ivan, especially with regards to the use of schools as shelters, led to the initiation of this joint ODPEM/MOEYC and UNICEF Project to strengthen the capacities of communities, through the schools (basic/infant, primary/all age, and high schools) to respond in the event of a natural, man-made, and/or slow/fast onset emergency, including civil unrests.
Thirty schools were nominated by the MOEYC because it was felt that they were most vulnerable to flooding, landslides or sporadic outbreaks of conflict within the surrounding communities. This marked Phase One of the project, which culminated with the training of over 60 childcare givers throughout Jamaica, as well as the approval by the ODPEM of emergency, preparedness and response plans for 29 schools in 2006.
Phase II of the Project was implemented in 2007, and involved 50 institutions, including special education schools and childcare facilities such as children’s homes and places of safety.
The poster competition was opened to the Project’s participating students to sensitize them about the project and disaster preparedness on a whole. The theme for the competition was Assessing Our Hazards.