Save the Children New Zealand

Save the Children New Zealand work on a range of projects, but the one we’re going to highlight this week is their Child-Centred Disaster Risk Reduction (CDRR) project in Fiji.

 St Marys Primary DRR Club members prepare for the Character Parade with their Banner on DRR4.

The CDRR project is a five-year programme co-funded with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It focuses on national-level institutional strengthening, as well as helping communities, families and children to be better prepared for disasters while building their resilience to the future shocks they are likely to face: increasingly intense weather systems, drought, flooding, tsunami, temperature extremes, acidification of the ocean, and changing plant, animal and human diseases.

SCNZ’s approach to this centres on the active involvement of children. The disaster risk reduction and adaptation planning programmes are for children, and with children, recognising children’s needs, and building their knowledge about disaster management and climate adaptation, are important for increasing resilience both now and in the future.
One of the highlights of this two-year project has been the child DRR clubs established in SCNZ’s 30 high-risk communities. These have proven to be an excellent forum for empowering children, while building awareness of key DRR messages to help keep children safe – and, through children’s stories and enthusiasm, parents became increasingly interested in DRR and are committing to reducing risks in their communities. Furthermore, in some communities the project has brought together different social groups that had not interacted with each other before.

The DRR club members can now quite confidently explain how to reduce risks or what to do during different disasters. The children are also involved in consultations on DRR national policy development and other DRR themes, which has been great for raising the public’s awareness – and has also provided an opportunity to engage some of SCNZ’s major local partners in this resilience effort, such as the National Disaster Management Office.

One of the programme challenges is regularly engaging with the six Ministries and four NGO partners that we are working with. It’s a lot of work to coordinate activities and all work together to move in the same direction.

Building long-lasting resilience requires a multi-faceted approach and the CDRR project is aiming to bring children and youth into that process. . It also has livelihood components, building classrooms that double as Evacuation Centres, developing DRR/CCA modules for teachers training colleges, Hazard Analysis and planning at the village level, and developing DRR educational materials for children, to name a few more.


The Save staff are true champions for DRR in Fiji and it’s heartening to see how much they have achieved in a short 2-year timeframe.


Naduri DRR Club members demonstarting in character what to do if ones clothes catch fire STOP DROP ROLL2. Plant more trees to mitigate landslides. Take heed to warnings and follow evcuation plans