International disaster risk reduction day is October 13th. The story about risk reduction we begin with and statement by Ban Ki-moon UN general secretary, who said: “We can't eliminate disasters, but we can mitigate risks. We can reduce damage and save lives.” Disaster, according the UNISDR is expression for losing lives, injuries and damages appeared in certain time frame. There is nothing natural in disasters, as we often her in public and media how natural disasters occur certain area. The natural are weather conditions which cause damage, loss of lives and injuries only when people are not prepared and have no knowledge about risk and hazards and their capacities to cope with effects cause by weather. How to reduce risks, every person should know living in potentially dangerous area, find the capacities to cope with risks. We are passive until something happen. Understanding risks and hazards is the most important step in building capacities. Caritas in Bosnia and Herzegovina after floods and landslides in 2014 has been working very intensively on education young people, children and building capacities with local communities. It is not always easy job to do, but we achieved results with which we can proud of.
“Prepare with Herman” has become very popular story in kindergartens and communities for children. From the beginning of the programme for risk reduction Caritas educated 957 children through more than 35 workshops with children up to age 10. The children participated on workshops, puppet shows, creative playgrounds, story tellers and other education meanings. The story is introduction to theme, with aim to present on adequate way to children about risks, hazards, disasters and preparedness. Children are active members of society and future force which will approach to this theme more wisely, beginning with their family members.
“Safe school” pilot programme is a part of global campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina indorsed by international agencies. The aim of this approach is to enhanced capacities of schools with material and educational way to be more resilient and prepared for disasters, in order to be safer place. The pilot programme began last year with evacuation exercise in public school which received not just knowledge but also some basic material support to be safer school. Caritas already educated 9 teachers from different public schools to teach 200 children about this theme. The education will last 15 hours (school hours), based on curricula developed with experts from fire department, emergency aid doctors, civil defence, and more. Based on curricula Caritas developed manual which completely follow the curricula and give the basic knowledge to children and adults about the resilience, risks, hazards, vulnerability etc. Our programme will continue and our goal is to reach as many schools as we can. Each school in the programme after the education is finished, will simulate evacuation exercise with experts to transfer the theoretical part in practice.
“Building capacities with local communities” is a new approach which means working with volunteers and members from local communities in raising their resilience and preparedness. Until now we managed to achieve 45 local communities’ different sizes to be part of our story. Our work has been theoretical but moreover practical. In 14 communities together with people from local communities we managed to make prevention from landslides. In a same time in 7 local communities Caritas conducted cleaning action around the river to raise the conciseness of people how ecology is important in prevention. For people in agriculture 308 farmer went through different education in theory and practice, how to make crops resilient to climate changes.
Caritas in Bosnia and Herzegovina building capacities not itself but for Caritas network members, for other NGO's through Sphere education. In a same time Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina initiated together with Ministry of security and Red Cross Bosnia and Herzegovina supported by UN agencies to form focal point group for Sphere standards. Until now, Caritas implemented one Sphere training for NGO's, Government Institutions and Caritas staff. This year the same training Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted for Caritas in Croatia. Our aim is to raise question for better and coordinated response not just after disaster but in every day response to people in need.