Celebrating and Sharing International Disaster Risk Reduction Day in Quang Nam Province

On Friday, October 4th, 2013 in Quang Nam province, over 250 people gathered for an early celebration of the International Disaster Reduction (IDRR) Day co-organized by Malteser International (MI) and Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) together with the Disability People’s Organization of Quang Nam province. This year, the focus has been on an important matter: disaster mitigation and prevention for and with participation of people with disabilities. The celebrations, which are ongoing in Vietnam until the official IDRR Day on October 13th, recognize that it is necessary and beneficial to ensure that people with disabilities are actively and meaningfully engaged in disaster risk reduction within their communities.

Celebrating and Sharing International Disaster Risk Reduction Day 1The SRD team and project participants at IDRR Day in Quang Nam Province

Eight of SRD’s participants from the project “ Supporting people with disabilities” in Gio Linh District in Quang Tri province and the project “Community based disaster risk mitigation and climate change adaptation” in Huong Tra town, Thua Thien Hue province joined the Hue team to make the journey to the Quang Nam Province celebrations. All of the local team members had participated in SRD’s September 2013 training on Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation for People with Disabilities.

Celebrating and Sharing International Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2The Project participants draw their hazard map of Gio Linh district in Quang Tri Province

The day engaged everyone with a talk show for people with disabilities helped people to discuss their local situations, their disaster risk reduction techniques (DRR) and to share messages with local decision makers. After the talk show, two competitions engaged the local participants in attendance from a variety of townships and communes in the district. The communications competition took central stage as people with disabilities performed songs and small skits. Meanwhile, local program participants competed in teams to draw a disability-inclusive local hazard maps of their local townships to plan for the future. Both competitions gave central stage to people with disabilities as they actively participated in planning for and communicating about disasters in their communities.

Celebrating and Sharing International Disaster Risk Reduction Day 3

The communications competition included a performance on DRR in Quang Tri

SRD’s team won the 1st prize in the communications competition with a rousing performance about a man with a disability working with the local community to prepare for Typhoon #10. The performance was capped by a beautiful song by Mr. Khu, a man with disability, who was the star of the show. The team also received the 3rd prize for its unconventional yet effective and colourful hazard map.

Celebrating and Sharing International Disaster Risk Reduction Day 4

Mr. Khu receives congratulations after his performance

In recognition of this important event, over 250 people were in attendance for the day’s festivities and competitions, including National Centre for Disaster Management from Hanoi, from the Quang Nam Provincial Level, from a variety of local townships. The celebrations received funding and support from international organizations that are donors of MI and SRD, such as German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Australian Aid/Caritas Australia. 

The day was a success. People with disabilities from different communes met and shared the best coping mechanisms, helping to build stronger networks throughout the province. The touching performances helped to share the experiences of people. Hazard map competitions ensure that all participants consider risks and planning for emergency situations, not just the village leaders. It is one more step towards more inclusive community and disaster planning.

-SRD-

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