Did you hear the weather report?
In a tent in the camp in Cox’s Bazar a box of LEGO bricks and a large colourful play parachute becomes a way to link psychosocial support for children with disaster preparedness.
To learn how to protect themselves and their families in extreme weather children need to understand weather systems and what measures to take against them in a fun, engaging and age-appropriate way: Participants stand in a circle holding on to the edge of a parachute. The facilitator asks, “What does the weather report say today?”. They then enact the weather report moving the parachute to illustrate sunshine, heat, rain, thunder, wind.
Mapping out the community in LEGO bricks is another way of engaging the children in thinking about their environment, where they will be safe, and where they will not be safe.
In Cox’s Bazaar many children have limited access to schooling. Apart from linking the psychosocial activities to disaster preparedness, it is also important to integrate the development of cognitive skills to maintain their ability to learn while they are waiting for school to start or continue.
Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar, April 2019. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society distributed umbrellas to over 1300 students of in Cox’s Bazar District during during the cylone and monsoon seasons. Photo: IFRC
Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh is host to almost a million people displaced from Rakhine state. The situation has raised many questions on how best to offer protection, psychosocial support and build skills enabling the communities to move forward under very difficult circumstances. Meeting even the most basic needs of all in the settlement of displaced is an extremely complex operation for both authorities and the humanitarian community.
In 2018, the IFRC PS Centre conducted an evaluation of the PS interventions carried out by IFRC and partner National Societies as part of a long-term plan to improve the surge capacity.
As part of this follow-uptrained staff and volunteers from Action against Hunger together with Bangladesh Reed Crescent Society in child protection, protection and interventions to support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.