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Monday, March 29, 2010

Teaching Disaster Preparedness through Mobile Theater

 Action & Event-ure:

We already know that our country is a disaster prone country but when tropical storms Ondoy and Pepeng hit our nation last year, we were caught by surprise and ironically, we were unprepared. And then, Mayon Volcano erupted and killer quakes hit Haiti and Chile. It is as if films “Deep Impact”, “2012” and “The Day after Tomorrow” turned from reel to real.

That’s why there is no better time to address the concerns of disaster response and emergencies but today where there are no natural calamities yet.

Video shows how an entertaining theatrical performance can teach an important message like breastfeeding.

Last week, a UNICEF funded mobile theater group performed at San Vicente Elementary School in Quezon City to promote breastfeeding and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in evacuation centers and affected communities to equip children, families and communities in times of emergencies.

Lakan, the mobile theater group's leader, provides a very animated and engaging performance.

The community were taught how to segregate wastes.

We may think people don't care about theater and we need to state our point directly but not in this case.  The audience appreciated the engaging performance of the mobile theater group and from what I saw, they really understood the message of the play.  I just hope they can bring it with them when the time comes (knock on wood!).

It is performed in a light comic form using songs, dances and dialogues. The mobile theater will visit a total of 75 affected communities in Laguna, Rizal and Metro Manila. It is performed by members of PETA (Philippine Education Theater Association) and CCP (Cultural Center of thePhilippines).

Children were taught of the proper way how to wash hands with water and soap.

In parallel disaster preparation efforts, UNICEF also launched the Humanitarian Action Report (HAR) 2010 in the Philippines, six months after tropical storm Ondoy hit the country. This annual report highlights the most severe crises impacting children and women around the world and includes an appeal for additional assistance.

This year’s report highlights the situation of children and women in 28 countries and territories that have been identified as being in the most desperate need, and seeks $1.2 billion to help them.

For the Philippines, the main focus is on preparedness for the next emergency and continuous effort to serve the needs of children and women affected by last year’s tropical storm and typhoons as well as those affected by conflict in Mindanao. UNICEF Philippines is appealing for $18 million to continue its work for women and children in need.

To read a full copy of the report, please visit http://www.unicef.org/har2010

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