Project to reach 4100 children

Save the Children Fiji CEO Iris Low-McKenzie. Picture: FT FILE

THE Save the Children (SC) Fiji’s Child Centered Disaster Risk Reduction (CCDRR) project is estimated to reach 4100 children through its activities in the country.

SC Fiji chief executive officer Iris Low-McKenzie said there was a need to know that the hazards in Fiji would be growing and all stakeholders, including children, communities, government and non-government organisations, needed to pay more attention to reducing the risks and preparing for extreme weather events.

“The 30 disaster risk reduction (DRR) clubs currently have 802 members. Our livelihoods survey team was on Moturiki and we brought three children from Kia Island to Labasa to take part in the policy consultation,” Ms Low-McKenzie said.

“But both Moturiki and Kia Island have a community facilitator based on the island who supports the DRR club activities and follows on the community DRR processes.”

“We visit Moturiki regularly from Suva (next visit is tentatively second week of September) and our project officers in Lautoka and Labasa visit each community at least once a month. Our livelihood project KANA works on Koro Island.”

She added the total budget for the project was $F4.5 million, supported by New Zealand’s Partnerships for International Development Fund and Save the Children New Zealand.

“Particularly 10-14- year-old children are very excited to join the clubs and learn about how to reduce risks in their communities and schools,” she said.

“Through the children, the families have gradually gotten more interested in DRR, and the parents and chaperones now listen and respect the children more.

“Through the clubs, the parents in informal settlements had started to collaborate more, observing that whereas earlier they did not interact with the people from other churches and areas of origin, but now the children have brought them together.”