Sabado, Hulyo 14, 2018

Disaster Resilience Forum for Children & Youth with Disabilities during Disasters!

SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings a forum on Disaster Preparedness for Children and Youth with Disabilities. The attendees are young people who are blind, deaf, with physical/orthopedic impairments, with Down syndrome, Autism and those with rare disorders.
Disaster Resilience Forum for Children & Youth with Disabilities during Disasters!
Persons with Disabilities, especially the young ones, are seen to be more disadvantaged due to their limitations on mobility and awareness. SM Cares, organized the  Disaster Preparedness Forum on July 9, 2018, at Hall 3 of the SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings. Focusing on Children and Youth with Disabilities, between 10-30 years old.

Manuel Agcoili  President  Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled  (first row left most)  with forum participants and (second row from L-R) Engr. Bien  C. Mateo SVP for Mall Operations, Director SM Cares Program, Dr. Renato Solidum Jr. Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction Department of Science and Technology, Ms. Lotta Sylwander Country Representative UNICEF Philippines,  Nicanor Faeldon  Assistant Secretary  Office of Civil Defense, Alexander Pama  Former Executive Director NDRRMC  and Dr. Ted Esguerra, Operational Medicine Instructor International Disaster Response Network.
Disability in the Philippines really subjects the person with a disability, children with disability are usually the most vulnerable during the times of disaster and emergency and even without disaster and emergency. 


About 1.5 million children in the Philippines needs some kind of an assisted device like hearing, or vision aids or prosthesis to be able to go about daily life. But only about 5% of those 11/2 million children have access to some kind of aid.

Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr., Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), talked about possibility of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake to hit Metro Manila.

In the Philippines its estimated that about 1 out of 7 children or 5.1 million Filipino children are living with some kind of disability, they all have different needs, and they all need different support in an emergency situation. Children such as:

  • Hearing impaired
  • Visually impaired
  • Mobility impaired
  • Developmentally disabled
Dr. Ted Esguerra, Operational Medicine Instructor of the International Disaster Response Network shared survival measures for those with limited mobility, vision, and hearing. 

Dr. Ted Esguerra, Operational Medicine Instructor International Disaster Response Network


SM Cares has been partners of different organizations and government institutions in the country. Questions been asked that why is it important to protect and think about young people with disabilities in a disaster situation?


Typically in every emergency between 50% to 60% of those are most affected are children. It affects them in a way the same way that affects everyone but even more so they're losing their lives because they can't get away, they become malnourished during a protracted emergency, they get unhealthy or sick from poor water on sanitation conditions and they're also unable to access schooling or other supports and psychosocial stress is usually a very serious factor for young people with disabilities that are part of an emergency situation.


Ms. Lotta Sylwander Country Representative UNICEF Philippines

The forum provided substantial information about the reality of a potential earthquake scenario in Metro Manila, as well as making them better prepared for disasters and calamities. The attendees were young people who are blind, deaf, with physical/orthopedic impairments, with Down syndrome, Autism and those with rare disorders. 


Helping your child develop for disaster resilience is an important life skill for children with learning and attention issues at the same time will help them survive the disaster when it occurs especially if their parents are not around.



ABOUT SM CARES 
SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.  Its advocacies include Programs on Persons with Disabilities, Children and Youth, Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Environment, Senior Citizens, and Overseas Filipino Workers (SM Global Pinoy). 

As a responsible mall developer, SM ensures that its CSR programs serve as a catalyst for positive change for the community that it serves. To know more about SM Cares, please visit www.smcares.com.ph, www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares or email smcares@smprime.com.



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