All Shook Up: Laying a New Foundation for Earthquake Safety in "Nica"

All Shook Up: Laying a New Foundation for Earthquake Safety in "Nica"

Location:
Masaya, Nicaragua
GESI Team:
Lauren Cervantes, Jourdan Dorrell, Hope Iyiewuare, Azalea Lopez
Partner:
Foundation for Sustainable Development
Development Sector:
Education / Youth
Apply to the Program  
Summer 2015

Project Background

Working with the Centro de Salud Monimbó in Nicaragua, the GESI team’s project addressed the challenge of disaster prevention relief, specifically in regards to earthquake safety education in rural schools. The centro already had an existing partnership with a network of seven schools. These institutions typically lack funding and have structures that are not built to withstand natural disasters, in particular earthquakes that are common for the region. In addition, the school directors expressed how there was a lack of education regarding disaster preparedness in cases of earthquakes. The team’s project sought to address this need. The centro already collaborates with the schools on delivering “charlas” (workshops/presentations) regarding topics like sexual health, and the team thought it important to capitalize on the existing relationship. After observing the charla structure, the GESI team created lesson plans and activities geared towards children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The lesson plans revolved around teaching the children how to be prepared during an earthquake whether they were at home or at school. Seven first aid kits were also compiled that were distributed to each school in order to demonstrate how students can prepare something similar in their homes. After delivering talks in all seven schools to around 1,700 children, a formal agreement was established between the schools and the centro de salud to continue the talks after one of the bimonthly earthquake simulations that the schools routinely conduct. The schools would then check-in every 3 months with the centro with updates regarding how many talks were given, how many students attended, and how long it took students to evacuate during earthquake safety drills. Every school was given a manual with material and activities that were used by GESI team members to plan the original charlas. Teachers will use these manuals to deliver their own disaster prevention education sessions with students.