Since 2011, the ‘Paré pas Paré’ project and its mascot Timoun have visited pupils aged 8 to 11 in various schools across Reunion to raise awareness of the risks of natural disasters. Since 2011, 42 partner schools have participated alongside the French Red Cross.
Children each receive support material, and are taught using fun and interactive techniques.
The sessions are conducted by project volunteers or previously trained teachers who are each given a comprehensive teaching kit comprising:
- A facilitator’s handbook that accompanies the volunteer during his/her training. It summarises and incorporates the information to be communicated to the children, and includes the teaching schedule for each session.
- A binder with the 8 module topics the pupils are provided with. Each module consists of elements specific to each hazard, then a series of activities (exercises, games, etc.) to test pupils’ knowledge, and the prevention instructions to follow before/during/after a disaster. In fact understanding instructions is key if children are to appropriate and respect them.
- A series of posters show brief prevention instructions and a comic strip-type scenario specific to each risk.
In 2011 the French Red Cross, as an auxiliary to the public authorities, signed a partnership agreement with the Ministry of Education concerning the provision of education. In the wake of this agreement, the French Red Cross in Reunion wanted to create a partnership with Reunion’s Regional Educational Authority to include risk awareness in schools. As a result an agreement was signed in late 2012 aimed at making it easier to implement the ‘Paré pas Paré’ project in the island’s schools in the coming years.
“Paré pas Paré” out of the classroom
Outreach action with MECS children’s care homes
In 2013 two MECS (children’s care homes) committed to educating about risk awareness with the French Red Cross. To do this special educators and teachers who work at these institutions will be trained to teach the modules, modules that they will be able to adapt to suit their needs. This action concerned thirty children in 2013.
The project integrates holiday centres
The French Red Cross extends its out-of-school actions for children, as the school setting can limit certain activities. Thus the ‘Paré pas Paré’ project volunteers invest recreation centres during school holidays, enabling field visits, meetings with risk management actors, and the pursuit of risk-themed manual activities (painting, sculpture, etc).
In 2012, two holiday centres in Saint Pierre and Saint Paul participated in the “Paré pas Paré” project.