UPRI YouthMappers launches “BATAlert”, capacitating children’s DRRM skills through the development of community-based modules

BATAlert: Capacitating Children’s DRRM Skills Through the Development of Community-Based Educational Modules was the implemented project of the UP Resilience Institute YouthMappers (UPRIYM), funded by Yayasan Peta Bencana and USAID. It is part of the USAID Cognicity OSS for Next Generation Community Engagement in Disaster Risk Management Program. The series of activities was conducted from January 28 to March 9, 2024, covering the planning stages leading up to the culminating community visit on March 9.

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Generally, BATAlert aims to engage children with Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) concepts and disaster reporting using age-appropriate methods. The project was anchored on training selected participants with the concepts of DRRM using community-based, creative, and hands-on approaches, improving the participants’ digital literacy and disaster response capabilities, and establishing a Community Ambassador system with the participants appointed.

UPRIYM partnered with the community organization Buklod ng Tao, based in Barangay Banaba, San Mateo, Rizal. The organization served as our point of contact, secured the venue of the culminating activities, and coordinated the participation of the members of their youth arm, Buklod ng Kabataan. The participants from the youth group ranged in age from 6 to 17.

UPRIYM also collaborated with experts from UPRI Research Creative Works (RCW), a division under UPRI with extensive experience in effectively communicating DRRM concepts to various audiences. Initially, the project aimed to rely on performance arts to inculcate the topics. But with our consultation with the division’s director, Dr. Glecy Atienza, the approach shifted to gamification. Upon assessing the project budget, duration, and the resources available, it became evident that the initial approach was not feasible. However, despite this adjustment, it remains arguable that the objective can still be achieved, as utilizing physical games to impart DRR concepts aligns with the principles of a “community-based, creative, and hands-on approach.”

Before the actual implementation of the games, modules were conceptualized and designed following various principles as advised by our main consultant. The games must be anchored on ethical standards, where prerequisite community and parental consent must be secured. They should also be administered based on the local context (e.g. using local languages and integrating the communities’ experience during disasters) and cover basic and easy-to-communicate concepts and skills. The module was also fabricated using Filipino as the main medium of instruction. 

The games were administered on March 9, 2024, at Buklod ng Tao Headquarters in Barangay Banaba, San Mateo, Rizal. The initial activity was a warm-up, followed by three main games focused on pre-disaster concepts and skills. The final game addressed evacuation procedures. After all the games, a concluding discussion was held, during which the importance of all the games was reiterated, and feedback from the participants was asked.

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Warm-up activity was conducted before the main games

 

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Game #1: GoBag Hunting

 

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Game #2: Blind Leading the Blind
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Game #3: Mental Mapping
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Final Game: Modified Patintero

Additionally, UPRIYM designed a separate module detailing the steps for teaching MapaKalamidad.ph (MPK) platform to parents and their children. In sharing the platform, we deemed it better to include parents in the training to ensure that the children are closely monitored when they navigate social media platforms and report real-time experiences. In creating the module, we translated and simplified the manual provided by the MapaKalamidad.ph team.

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Our resident MPK Youth Ambassador, Markel Rivera, leading the training about MapaKalamidad.PH

UPRIYM also aimed to ensure that the administration of the games and the platform tutorial would spread to more community members and even in other areas. It attempts to extend the project’s impact into a long-term duration. The turning over ocopies of the designed modules to the Buklod ng Tao organization is one of the project’s key milestones supporting this final objective’s achievement. With the modules handed out to the community, Manuel “Ka Noli” Abinales, founder of Buklod Tao, pledged to facilitate the identification of the community ambassadors from Buklod ng Kabataan (their officers) who will continue teaching the modules to more members of the community. Also, officers of the youth group were enjoined to be part of the MPK ambassadors to set a good example to the youth members of the community. Their participation in the Youth Ambassador program has been coordinated with the Buklod ng Tao and Buklod ng Kabataan team. 

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Turning over the modules to Buklod Tao and Buklod ng Kabataan

Aside from the modules, UPRIYM also turned over information dissemination tarpaulins to the community. These information materials contain the summarized version of the concepts taught during the games and the tutorial on using the MapaKalamidad.ph platform. These are expected to be placed in conspicuous areas around the headquarters of Buklod Tao.

We want to thank our partners, MapaKalamidad.PH, USAID, Buklod Tao, Buklod ng Kabataan, UPRI RCW Division, and YouthMappers for supporting this event. Without your generous support, this project wouldn’t be possible.