Youth Involvement in Disaster Management
Stephen Ogola Akeyo
December 9, 2010
Can young people perform well when they are involved in disaster preparedness and planning roles? Social norms have often failed to incorporate youth in leadership roles and decision making process even during emergency situations. Sadly, when a disaster strikes in any given community, youth and children are found to represent more than a third of disaster victims, yet their response role in a disaster is generally restricted to that of passive victims. The tremendous contributions that young people can make to disaster management are largely untapped. Involving young people in disaster management can help them learn topics that affect their lives while at the same time gaining hands-on experience designed to equip them become tomorrow better leaders. Any comprehensive disaster management that is designed to incorporate youth in its programs, not only benefits creativity and energy of young people but also in the process strengthens partnerships for resilience. This paper will address current issues affecting disaster management, the role of youth in disaster management, experience and lessons learned from organizations “such as; the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; the 2004 Tsunami disaster that impacted the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia; the 2006 Katrina disaster in New Orleans – U.S.A; and Plan International case study in El-Salvador. This paper will recommend youth involvement in their own community disaster management activities such as table-top exercise tailored into identifying risks; designing community emergency plans as well as their own; exercising a plan; setting up early warning systems; and implementing response; mitigation; and risk reduction plans. Conference participant will be challenged to adopt best practices and be encouraged to conduct further research study and platforms designed to foster youth-adult partnerships for resilience.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Youth and Disaster Managementworking papers series
Date posted: December 19, 2010
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