Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction!
The thirteenth of October is UN International Day for Disaster Reduction. Its theme for this year is “Making Children and Young People Partners for Disaster Risk Reduction”.
From its inception, Scouting around the world has engaged itself in helping people affected by natural disasters or human crisis. Every Scout is asked to "Be prepared!" to intervene to alleviate suffering during great natural or climatic disaster.
During the earthquakes and tsunamis that affected countries in the Asia-Pacific region in December 2004, Haiti last year and more recently Japan, Scouts have shown that they know how to react quickly and efficiently in the face of natural disasters.
Scouts are often the key contact people for professionals that work in the field, thanks to their self-sacrifice, determination and local knowledge of the affected communities; they are often in the front line during disasters that befall their immediate environment.
Good training and preparation are the keys to success and World Scouting's partnership with ShelterBox on the occasion of the JOTA-JOTI (Jamboree On the Air - Jamboree On the Internet) is a good example of what can be done to educate young people about how they can react positively to a natural disaster.
This initiative responds very directly to the concern of WOSM's member organizations as expressed through Conference Resolution 17/11 Emergency Response which was adopted during the 39th World Scout Conference in Brazil in January 2011:
- Urges all National Scout Organizations to respond urgently to any national/international emergency such as natural and man made disasters and to be able to coordinate with sister organizations, thus remaining always prepared to respond in an effective manner;
- Encourages the World Scout Bureau to work in partnership with aid agencies to provide coordination, technical and professional support to National Scout Organizations in this regard.
More information on these topics