UN Children’s Fund reports:
Because the rights of Mother Earth are the rights of children, through an alliance with 32 local broadcasting stations in 17 municipalities in the area affected by the fires UNICEF can broadcast messages about care and protection of the children and adolescents suffering from this emergency. This activity reaches an estimated audience of 315,000 people.
LA PAZ, 2 September 2019 – Within the framework of its core commitments to children in emergency situations, UNICEF is broadcasting messages in the form of radio and television spots on the importance of protecting children and adolescents in the municipalities affected by the fires in the Chiquitanía forests.
UNICEF, in coordination and with the support of the Autonomous Departmental Government of Santa Cruz, has begun to broadcast five radio spots and one television spot in the media of 17 municipalities affected by the fires. UNICEF calls on the media to socialize this information produced in order to protect the children and adolescents living in the communities affected by the emergency.
During a forest fire, children may be the group affected most, with the main dangers for them being the flames and smoke; but also because of their vulnerability when evacuated or being close to the disaster and seeing how their family lose their assets and how their animals and the forest fauna die. The families and the community can take several actions to protect the youngest children, some of which are addressed as advice in these radio spots.
The five radio spots give the following child protection messages to the families of the area:
- Take care of your children, calm them and comfort them if they cry or become depressed. Right now they need you very much.
- If your family has been evacuated, do not separate from your children, keep an eye on their needs, they may be very frightened and express their fear in different ways.
- Adolescents and children are very vulnerable in these situations, do not let them take part in actions to extinguish the fire; experience, knowledge and extreme care are required for this work.
- Young children are the most vulnerable ones to smoke and pollution, their respiratory system can be quickly affected. It is necessary to protect them by keeping them away from contaminated areas.
- If your child is coughing constantly, has irritated eyes, or is breathing with difficulty, take him or her to the health center immediately.
Two more radio spots on education and care when returning to school are presently under preparation. There are also television spots addressing these issues, which will be broadcasted by local television channels in agreement with the Departmental Government of Santa Cruz.
The messages are disseminated in 17 municipalities: Puerto Suárez, Puerto Quijarro, El Carmen Rivero Tórrez, Cuatro Cañadas, Concepción, San Antonio de Lomerío, San Javier, San Ramón, San Julián, San Ignacio, San Miguel, San José, Roboré, Pailón, San Matías, Camiri and Charagua. This activity reaches an estimated audience of 315,000 people.
On UNICEF Bolivia’s social networks, the same messages were also published on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and a message focusing on prevention was sent to adolescents and young people in the region through U-Report. The same channel was used to launch a call for making donations to the official collection centers.
Youth Council for Mother Earth
The Youth Council for Mother Earth, a youth organization and one of the organizations and institutions receiving support from UNICEF, has also activated its social networks and is producing a testimonial video made by young people from the affected area. From the beginning of the catastrophe, young people have mobilized in departmental capital cities throughout the country, first with the collection of donations and then through the organization and convening of mass marches in each region.
Moreover, several members of the Youth Council were trained by firefighters and rescue agencies, and delegations of young people from Potosí and La Paz then went to the affected area to give logistical support to the brigades and in the fire extinguishing efforts.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child,everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information with: Franco Clavijo, Communication Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org