By Pham Thi Thuy An – Climate Change Project Officer
Thuy is in the sixth grade class of Tan Phuoc Secondary School in Gia Thuan Commune in Go Cong Dong District of Tien Giang Province. Situated by the start of the Mekong River in Vietnam, the province experiences flooding almost every year. In Thuy’s opinion the floods are happening more regularly.
To help children like Thuy understand and prepare for such an extreme weather change, Save the Children invited her and the other 10 children from the communities to take part in workshop in November to discuss the community resilient ability, planning activities and to do exercises on mapping locations at the high risk of disasters.
This activity is part of Save the Children’s “Child Centred Climate Change Resilience” programme which has been implemented in 8 communes of Go Cong Dong and Go Cong town of Dong Thap Province since
The programme is to support children and their families to prepare and adapt climate change through training, workshops and public events. It also engages Government’s and civil organizations to respond to the children and community’s needs in regarding to climate change adaptation.
“I am glad to join group discussion from which I have got to know about who are most vulnerable, where hazards and disasters come from and what we should cope with climate change,” Thuy said.
“The most interesting thing is that we are able to give our opinions on how to minimize the impact of climate change, propose solution to protect our people.”
Children’s feedback and the community’s recommendation will be essential input for the community’s plan in response to the disasters and climate change in 2014. The plan is expected to be included in the provincial socio economic development plan.
“I am impressed that an action plan was made with the input by people from all walks of life in the community. As climate change will leave the impact on everyone, including children, their voice should be heard and their concern should be addressed. All such elements will make a good planning,” the head of village 2 in Gia Thuan Commune of Go Cong Dong District Phan Van Lam said.
“It is very different from the past when community development plans were made without participation from ordinary people and children so sometimes they didn’t work.”
“Involving communities in planning will ensure the people’s concerns to be addressed so to ensure a good implementation and monitoring process.”