Above: Children in Swat, KPK, learn about safe evacuation © Usman Ghani
RedR UK has been active in Pakistan since 2005. Since 2014, we have been working in partnership with schools and communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province, northwest Pakistan, to ensure that children know how to react when disaster strikes.
For people living in KPK, both natural and man-made disasters are a constant threat. The province is extremely vulnerable to earthquakes and flooding. In October 2015, KPK was among the areas affected by the magnitude 7.5 earthquake that hit the Hindu Kush.
Moreover, militant groups operating in the region oppose the education of girls and the employment of female teachers, meaning that schools are a target. On 16th December 2014, Pakistan experienced the deadliest terrorist attack in its history when gunmen launched an assault on the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar, KPK, claiming 150 lives, including those of 132 children. RedR is working in partnership with schools and communities to deliver training in disaster preparedness, first aid, and conflict-sensitive education across the province.
Saima is a teacher in Lower Badwan, KPK. She attended RedR’s ‘Safer Schools’ training in 2014 and 2015. "I have been teaching here for the past ten years - and now I realise that there was so much I didn’t know. None of the staff here knew how to prepare for emergency situations, or how to react when something happens.
Today, I regularly conduct first aid training and mock evacuation drills with my students. Once a week, I pass on safety information to my two classes: what to do in case of a fire, not to touch suspicious objects, and the importance of informing your elders of any concerns. In the past year, I have trained 61 children, who have gone home and shared these skills with their families. I have also trained the other teachers at the school in the basics of first aid, psychosocial support and fire safety."
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This project is supported by the Clothworkers’ Foundation, alongside several private donors.