Building children's capacity should come forth within communities where children receive enough support to pursue active citizenship and promote children's participation in local disaster risk governance. Children's core groups like KAUBAN (Kaupod han Kabataan) of Dolores, Eastern Samar undertake community-based campaigns to raise awareness on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and child rights among their fellow children.
Save the Children Philippines helped communities to develop children's groups in their area. These groups are represented by child advocates like Chad. "During learning sessions and workshops, we are provided with opportunities to interact with one another, discuss relevant issues in our community, and share insights on possible mechanisms with the guidance of our adult mentors and workshop speakers. This enables us to develop our solidarity and partnership with the other children," Chad said.
The European Union aids in building sustainable and resilient communities against disasters. A child-centered DRR is also being implemented by ensuring that children's core groups from different communities are equipped with adequate knowledge and skills through participation in different activities such as workshops, learning sessions, and group discussions. This fortifies children's foundational development through conducting programs that spread awareness on disaster preparedness and climate change.
“Save the Children Philippines helped boost our confidence to act more for our fellow children. Through the workshops, we gained a deeper understanding of child rights, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation. Our group even started conducting and facilitating short sessions such as storytelling and group discussion to our fellow children. We actively share ideas we learned from the workshop and conduct activities that raise awareness and interest among young fellows,” shared Chad.
The organization’s support goes beyond harnessing children’s understanding of the project campaigns as it also provides technical support for child-led groups to be registered and become formally recognized in their respective local government units. These efforts highlight the importance of children’s involvement in the local government unit’s planning and decision-making process on disaster response and preparedness.
“Save the Children brought our group to a wider platform that opened us to opportunities when they provided resources for the registration of our group, KAUBAN (Kaupod han Kabataan). We are now a recognized organization in our community and are slowly gaining voice to speak on behalf of our fellow children," Chad added.
Save the Children Philippines addresses crucial concerns by helping organize dialogues between children’s groups, guardians, and local policymakers through the social accountability process. The children’s groups are given the opportunity to share their observations and needs in terms of improving DRR policies. Hence, the local government finds time to evaluate the concerns raised of children, ensuring that relevant decisions are made in improving local DRR. The projects of the organization paved a new landscape for children in terms of building children’s capacity for child-centered governance on disaster risk reduction through social accountability process.
These child-led groups hope to continuously take part in the campaigns and lead more child-centered DRR activities to help their fellow children acknowledge their rights and be more engaged in local disaster governance.