寄付・募金・ボランティアのセーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami Emergency response and recovery program

The Fourth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction: Debriefing session by children (July 27, 2013)

On Sunday July 14, we had a debriefing session given by four child representatives from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures who participated in the Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Geneva, Switzerland, in May. Please watch how the children, once back in Japan, shared their experiences of the international convention with 61 children and adults who gathered from all over the country, and with the media.

Click here to watch the video.
Click here to see the Newsletter on the 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

 
■ Looking forward to sharing our experiences! A preliminary meeting before the debriefing session

In the morning, the four representatives gathered at the venue for a preliminary meeting to give their presentation at a briefing session. This was the first time they had met each other since returning from the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction about a month and a half previously. All four children seemed to have been greatly looking forward to sharing their experiences: One said, “My school teacher is coming!” while another brought the poster they had shown at the Global Platform.

 
■ We are very excited to report on our experiences and what we have learned!

The day of the briefing session had finally come! The participants included the children who had participated in the workshop held from March 31 to April 1, the representative of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction to Japan, staff from the local preparation of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, General Affairs and Planning Bureau, City of Sendai, as well as Diet members and city councilors. After introducing the proposal that they had presented at the Global Platform, each of the children reported their own experiences to the participants present. In order to draw out the opinions of the representatives, the reporting was conducted in the form of a conversation with staff members.

 

 

In their own words, the children answered questions such as, “Are there things that you realized, learned or gained through your participation?” and, “What was the most difficult thing for you?” Remembering their own experiences at the Global Platform, the children replied:
“I learned about a disaster prevention system prepared for highly vulnerable people.”
“I felt that there were certainly adults who listen to children throughout the world!”
“The participants spoke different languages and some had hearing disabilities. But I learned that we could still get closer and communicate with each other.”
“Our facilitator helped and guided me when I had to do something complicated.”

To the question, “Are you currently doing something based on this activity, or do you have any plans for your future activity?” the children answered:
“As a child commentator, I participate in the meetings in which adults hold discussions about the food stock of our community.”
“I joined an interview program on the Internet to share what I have learned. I also talked about what I have learned to journalists.”
“In the future, I want to be involved in community building in my own town. From now on, I want to support the activities of the Children’s Community Building Clubs and to promote children’s participation. “I am consistently sharing my experiences, starting with the people around me. When I talk with people, I ask them to tell others about our experiences of the disaster in regular conversation. In this way, I hope many people will become more interested in disaster prevention.”
Listening to these statements, we can see that each of the children conducts their activities based on their experiences from the Global Platform.

After a break, the children exchanged opinions with the participants, who asked, “How do you think you have grown in yourself?” Other questions asked of the children were, “What do you care most about when conveying your opinions and thoughts?” and, “Based on this experience, what do you want to do in the future?” In answering these questions, the children presented their dreams that had already developed further through their experiences, and then successfully concluded the session.

 

 
 
■ A briefing session prepared by the consolidated power of children

After the session, one of the representatives said, “People give us representatives such big complements. But the fact is, in regards to the proposal for example, we couldn’t have completed it without the efforts of all the members and the other children who supported us. I also believe that we could not have had this session without them!” As she says, this briefing session was a result of the accumulated efforts by the children of Tohoku, including the 32 children who participated in the workshop held at the end of March. In addition, we have received many comments from the participants who listened to the opinions of the representatives.

 
~ Comments from the adults who participated ~

– “The Children’s Community Building Clubs play a great role in presenting opinions from the disaster areas in Tohoku, Japan, to the international society. I express my gratitude as a representative of UNISDR, that the Fourth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction provided children the opportunities to express their opinions on DRR.” (Representative of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction to Japan)

– “I can see that the children are thinking very seriously. I would like to consider building a system where we can discuss with the children together.” (Deputy Director for the local preparation of the third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, General Affairs and Planning Bureau, City of Sendai)

– “I found their attitude to strive towards reconstruction was great. As an adult, instead of letting the children work on reconstruction efforts by themselves, I want to move forward together with them through education.” (School official)

– “By watching the video and listening to their presentations, I could see how determined they were in participating in the Global Platform. The session made me realize that I should also consider disasters from a broader perspective myself.” (University student)

– “Through this session, I learned that even children can convey their thoughts to adults if they wish to do so. I also want to participate in this kind of activity.” (University student)

 
~ Comments from the children who participated ~

– “Even if we speak different languages, we still can be friends! I think we can make our town a better place if we discuss with people from all over the world.” (Senior high school student, Iwate)

– “I learned to pass on our experiences from person to person.” (Elementary school student, Miyagi)

– “As they said in the session, I think it is important to discuss disaster prevention with the whole community, including those who have a hearing disability or other handicaps. I also want to play a part in these activities.” (Junior high school student, Miyagi)

– “I felt so happy to hear that the representatives could convey their message so well to the world.” (Senior high school student, Fukushima)

 
~ Comments from the child representatives ~

– “I realized again today that there are certainly people who are interested in listening to the reporting on disaster prevention and the Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.” (Female member, Iwate)

– “It was good that people of various generations and the media participated in this session.” (Female member, Iwate)

The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, in 2015. It will be here that the future action plans related to disaster prevention in the world, as well as the Post-Hyogo Framework for Action, will be formulated. Save the Children Japan will continue to work with children so that children can express their opinions on disaster prevention in the world and participate in related activities. We would like to ask you for your continued support!

(Reported by Haruka Nakamura, Tono Office)