CityNet-Plus Arts Center for Creative Partnerships, November 2023

 

1. Nepalese Teachers Visit Kobe and Yokohama for DRR Training Program

A delegation of School Club Based Resilient Community Model Project (SCBRCMP) stakeholders from Nepal visited Kobe and Yokohama between October 26 and November 2 to participate in a study visit program on Japanese DRR education that Plus Arts organized. The eleven-member delegation included representatives of core institutions and groups involved in the SCBRCMP’s local implementation in Nepal: teachers from various schools, local counterpart INSEC, the Lalitpur Metropolitan City, and the JICA Nepal Office. The delegates toured four learning centers in total—the Sakai City General Disaster Prevention Center, Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park, and the DRI Center in Kobe, followed by the Yokohama DRR Learning Center in Yokohama. Along with this, the delegates visited the Kobe Higashinada Fire Station, Shinyo Elementary School (Kobe), and Minatomiraihoncho Elementary School (Yokohama) to learn about DRR curriculums and hold workshop sessions with Japanese students.

Each day, time was allotted for guided debriefing and brainstorming sessions, allowing delegates to share takeaways and feedback, and discuss how these lessons can be applied in Nepal. At the end of their stay in Kobe, delegates presented these accumulated learnings and new ideas to a JICA panel in the form of action plans for next steps of the project.

The SCBRCMP, a three-year project beginning in August 2022 that is funded by JICA and implemented by Plus Arts, aims to raise awareness, promote DRR culture, and institutionalize DRR education in Nepal through local schools. School DRR clubs are set up to serve as hubs for knowledge-sharing and student and community participation. This and prior projects were initiated in light of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.

2. Games for DRR Education

Making DRR education fun through games is a founding principle of Plus Arts and a unique aspect of Japanese DRR culture. During the initial stage of the SCBRCMP, Nepalese teachers at the project schools received training and professional support in producing localized DRR educational tools in the form of games. These games are used for club activities and community events.

The delegation visited the Higashinada Fire Station during a disaster preparedness training workshop for a group of junior high students. This was a good opportunity to observe and compare Japanese games and training procedures with the ones developed in Nepal. The workshop began with a cooperative strategy board game. Students then completed collapsed structure rescue training followed by fire rescue training: the bucket relay and water balloon extinguisher exercises. The final part of the workshop was dedicated to the Nepalese teachers, who played their original games with the students, collected feedback, and answered questions.

3. Visiting Elementary Schools

The Nepal delegation visited an elementary school in both Kobe and Yokohama. At each school, they met with the principal, received a school tour, and participated in a game showcase and knowledge exchange session with the students. During these sessions, the delegates taught students about Nepal’s disaster situation, shared the efforts of the project, and presented their original games.

At Shinyo Elementary School in Kobe, the Nepalese teachers played their games or exercises with students in small groups. The students then offered feedback on the games. The students were very curious and engaged throughout the activities. Despite the language barrier, the young students quickly bonded with the teachers and the room was filled with laughter.

At Minatomiraihoncho Elementary School in Yokohama, students took turns presenting their school projects to share what they have learned as part of the DRR curriculum. In turn, the Nepalese teachers presented about natural disasters and DRR activities in Nepal in addition to introducing their original games. The students had many questions for the teachers.

These school visits helped the delegates learn more about the local DRR curriculums and allowed them to observe and collect different teaching methods and activity designs. Moreover, the interaction with students were invaluable chances for cross-cultural exchange, which will help the students develop a more international outlook on disaster and DRR.

 

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2023.11.27

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