The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is an opportunity to acknowledge the progress being made toward reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health. The 2021 edition focuses on “International cooperation for developing countries to reduce their disaster risk and disaster losses.” This is the sixth of the Sendai Seven targets.
RET has been designing and implementing Disaster Risk Reduction DRR projects since 2009. RET started in Colombia during the winter wave; since 2012, and to date, RET has been working in multiple countries in the Americas region, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panamá at the national and regional levels, using innovative approaches and ground-breaking interventions. During the last 10 years, RET has implemented more than 20 DRR-focused regional and national projects, including integral actions in other sectors such as education, protection, health and/or WASH, benefiting more than 30,000 direct participants, and 90,000 indirectly.
Three main strategic directions drive RET’s DRR approach:
(1) Participation of children, adolescents and young people in DRR (including children with disabilities);
(2) Advocacy and institutional strengthening in DRR focused on children and youth;
(3) Development of tools and frameworks for DRR focusing on children and young people.
The DRR projects focus specifically on the needs of children, adolescents, and young people, building their resilience through capacity strengthening under a rights-based approach, with particular attention to people with disabilities or indigenous groups.
Some of RET’s DRR projects include institutional capacity building and strengthening processes, such as with the Ministries of Education or Social Development) contributing to the design and/or implementation of their DRR public policies. Moreover, other projects have focused on a community level through the implementation of risk management models.
Through these proposals, more than 25 tools have been developed for advocacy and guidance, needs assessment, implementation, and capacity building at the regional, national, and community levels, allowing users to identify vulnerabilities, reflect on their capacities, and strengthen them.
Finaly, RET is actively engaged at the global level in the “Global Alliance for Risks Reduction and Resilience of the Education Sector” (GADRRRES). In the LAC, RET is a member of the “Regional Education Sector Group for DRR and Education in Emergencies” and has been the coordinator of the “Coalition for Children and Youth Resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean – CORELAC.” As a leader of CORELAC, the movement “Voices of Children and Youth for Resilience” has been promoted, reaching more than 6,000 young people in collaboration with UNICEF and UNDRR, Save the Children, Plan, and World Vision. This initiative succeeded in incorporating the participation of young people from LAC in different regional platforms for DRR (Chile, Ecuador, and Canada). The initiative led to the recognition of children’ and youth’ participation at the “World Conference on DRR” held in SENDAI in 2015; fundamentally influenced the inclusion of children and young people as “relevant actors” in the document of the SENDAI Framework for Disaster Risks Reduction 2015-2030.
Read more about the Zero Project Award 2020 for Innovative Practice that RET won in 2020.