Tales of Disasters
There are many parts of South East Asia where Badu is now a household name, despite his many shortcomings. He would rather doze in his hammock than prepare for a cyclone (“What cyclone?”). He cuts down a hillside of trees for quick money, only to find the fancy goods he buys destroyed in a landslide when the hill is made bare. He throws his litter in drains, blocking them, and doubling the risk of trouble when heavy rains come. Ignorant that it’s a tsunami warning sign, he joyfully collects fish when the tide goes out way further than normal, leaving them flapping on the sand. Emergency bag? What’s the panic?
By contrast, the Little Girl, a schoolgirl whose best friend is a squirrel, provides a strong female role model and a guide to what we should do in emergencies. Despite being populated by puppets, some scenes in The Tales of Disasters are a vivid reminder of how devastating disasters can be: the Squirrel reinforces the correct messaging, but he’s funny, too.
The films started life in partnership with the Irish INGO Trócaire and local partners in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami in 2005, and focus children’s and young people’s minds on what they can do to prepare for and be safe during earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, landslides, and cyclones in a part of the world where both climate-based and seismological disasters are a constant threat to human life and wellbeing.
So far, the series has been dubbed into 14 local languages for ongoing use by partners in Indonesia, East Timor, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines in the South East Asia region. Follow the link below for more on our recent work in Madagascar with the films Cyclone and Flood / Landslide.
FIND OUT MORE …
Madagascar: Taking the Tales to Africa’s Red Island. Our workshop in pictures
Working in Schools: Meet some of our incredible colleagues in the Philippines, where in one province alone, 5,000 school teachers have been trained in puppetry techniques for children. See what they think
Making the News: International news agency AFP joins children at a special day at school in Cambodia. Watch report
In the 20 years between 1994 adn 2013, an average of 68,000 people a year died as a result of natural disasters, according to the humanitarian information site Reliefweb.
Because of their unique vulnerability, a large proportion of the burden of disasters falls on children, and we know their overall toll is growing.
No Strings believes that children and young people not only have the right to information that can help them prepare for and be safe during disasters, but that when motivated and empowered, they can bring greater resilience to families and communities by sharing safety awareness and increasing motivation around preparedness.
Increasingly, we’re finding that community members generally enjoy watching the films with children and are motivated to discuss local risks and needs as a result of the process.