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Youth Leaders organize, empower fellow youth as emergency responders

Noriel Echanes, a 16-year old youth participant, was administering Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation as part of their practicum.

Valenzuela City – In a joint undertaking of Plan International Philippines and Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) on a project entitled “Strengthening Resilience to Disasters among Targeted Vulnerable Urban Poor Communities in Metro Manila, a training on basic life support and first aid for the youth was held at the Gen. T. De Leon Barangay Hall last April 19-21, 2017. A group of youth leaders in the barangay were tasked to organize the said activity from its conceptualization, proposal development, coordination and other preparations, and its actual implementation. As part of empowering the youth in the barangay, 25 youth participants, ages 14 to 25 years old, attended the said training on Basic Emergency Response organized by their fellow youth in the barangay.

Before proceeding on the discussion and practicum of the basic life support and first aid, a facilitator from the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) explained the basic concepts of DRRM to contextualize the training as an activity under in disaster preparedness. It was then followed by an input and workshop on creating the Family Preparedness Plan. Realizing its importance, one participant shared how he immediately told what he learned to his family after he got back home, and urged them to do it together as soon as possible, ‘”Actually po, pagkauwi ko sa amin kahapon, i-shinare ko agad ito sa aking family.”

Training officers from the Valenzuela City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (VCDRRMO) served as the main resource speakers all throughout the training. A wide range of topics were covered such as the Introduction to Emergency Medical Services, Bleeding Shock and its Management, Soft Tissue Injuries and its Management, Common Medical Services, and Musculo-Skeletal Injuries and its Management. There were also sessions involving more interaction between the facilitators and participants, such as Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, Bandaging, Splinting, Lifting, and Moving.

Before the three-day training ends, a written and practical exam was administered by the VCDRRMO to test the youth participants if they can apply the skills that they learned from the past sessions. Afterwards, CDP and the youth organizers facilitated a brief sharing among the participants. A participant even shared that he didn’t want to join the training at first and had a shift of opinion after finding out that he can learn so much from participating at the activity saying, “Noong una, ayoko talaga dahil akala ko mahirap, pero nagustuhan ko naman dahil marami akong natututunan.”

Participants also arrived at an agreement that the organization of the newly trained youth first aiders, Gen. T. De Leon’s Youth Emergency Response Team, will be their priority after the training. Also, with their roles in the newly organized response team, the youth participants suggested to the organizers that they looking forward to another capacity building activity that will help them develop their leadership skills in spearheading the organization of youth responders in the barangay. Through the success of this training, another batch of youth representatives from the barangay will undergo the same set of training in order to encourage more youth to be part of the Gen. T. De Leon Youth Emergency Response team.

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