Save the Children and Red Cross have announced partnership.
Monday November 12, 2012
As Australia braces for peak bushfire, flood and cyclone season, two leading emergency management agencies have partnered to ensure children's needs are met in times of disaster. Leading child rights agency Save the Children will work with Red Cross to provide child focussed services in Evacuation and Recovery Centres.
In times of emergency in Australia, Save the Children establishes "Child Friendly Spaces" - a kind of drop-in play centre for children whose parents and family are busy addressing immediate concerns such as housing, financial and medical needs.
This service will complement the work by Red Cross' disaster relief and recovery teams, who provide emotional support, reconnect family members and undertake recovery outreach of people affected by disasters.
Save the Children Emergency Response Team Leader Stephen McDonald said Child Friendly Spaces can play an important role in identifying and addressing child protection concerns within an affected population following a natural disaster.
"Child friendly spaces can improve children's psychosocial wellbeing by helping to re-establish routine, provide support and a sense of stability, and an opportunity to play,'' Mr McDonald said.
"The spaces also provide respite for families under stress, so parents can focus on re-establishing their livelihoods knowing their children are in safe hands.''
Red Cross National Emergency Services Manager Andrew Coghlan said the partnership with Save the Children would help Red Cross to lessen the impact of displacement on children during a natural disaster.
"Red Cross works with individuals and communities to reduce the impact of emergencies on their wellbeing and it is great that Save the Children will be working closely with us in evacuation centres to ensure young people are properly cared for,'' Mr Coghlan said.
"With the fire season already upon us, both organisations are gearing up for a busy summer. In the past five years Red Cross has helped more than 340,000 people affected by emergencies in Australia, including the Black Saturday bushfires, Cyclone Yasi and the Queensland, Victorian and New South Wales floods.''