Disaster Assistance Protecting Children

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Bringing about stability in an area that has been destabalized due to a disaster or other emergency or crisis situation can be added by those actions that are taken to deal with the most vulnerable population: children. While schools buildings and structures may have been destroyed, offering education in non-formal settings can provide a normalizing affect for the whole community. Having children in a structured environment, whether in a formal or non-formal setting, allows for education, as well as other needed services of food, water, health care, counseling, and play. Children, particularly those orphaned or dislocated from the parents or guardians, are vulnerable to adults who may exploit them or take advantage of them. This results in children not having access to basic necessities, such as food, water and other lifesaving services.

Having the children taken care of for several hours each day, if their have parent or a home to return to, or providing short-term living accomodations until a guardian or other arrangements can be made, helps remove them from harms way during the clean up in the aftermath of a natural disaster. This allows the adults to begin the cleanup and rebuilding of the infrastructure needed within the area to reestablish services, roads, electricity, water and sewer lines, etc. The following identifies some of the activities and support needed for implementing an emergency education program.

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