First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities are being disproportionately affected by climate change and extreme weather. The increasing occurrence of these disasters is leaving children particularly vulnerable when disasters strike. We know that:
- Children are more intensely impacted by disasters. The family and social structures that they depend on are disrupted, and delayed returns to normalcy can have devastating long-term impacts;
- Over a three-year period, the number of climate-related disasters reported in First Nations communities more than doubled. Most of these emergencies are related to wildfires and floods;
- Many Indigenous communities are also experiencing social emergencies (e.g., suicide crises, violence, food insecurity) limiting their ability to prepare for and respond to disasters.
When disasters strike, children rely on well-trained professionals to help them survive and recover. We and our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit partners are working to ensure that front-line workers and those who work with children have the skills, expertise, and resources necessary to protect children in disasters.
To ensure that First Nation, Metis, and Inuit communities are prepared to protect children when disasters strike, we work with partners to deliver several phases of capacity building workshops.
- Train-the-Trainer Workshop –Community leaders participate in a three-day Train-the-Trainer workshop. This workshop covers; Unique Needs of Children in emergencies, Setting up and Running a Child-Friendly Space, Child Safeguarding, and child-focused emergency planning.
- Teachers Workshop – Following the Train-the-Trainer workshops, trainees deliver workshops for teachers and key frontline workers in their home communities.
- Prep Rallies – Finally, With support from the trainees, Save the Children deliver “prep rallies” to schools in each community. The training for younger children (Kindergarten to Grade 6) covers the basics of emergency management and equips children with the necessary skills and resources to stay safe in disasters.