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The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is vulnerable to a wide range of disasters, including earthquakes, floods, avalanches, landslides and fires. Disaster risk reduction is crucial for ensuring the safety of schools and other institutions. ELFA International, having already established itself in the realm of school safety programs, adopted an innovative approach by incorporating street plays and Ladishah, a traditional Kashmiri folk ballad, to raise awareness. ELFA has provided training on disaster preparedness in 100 schools across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The program was designed following a participatory process, involving children, teachers, and the Education Department.

The Kashmir Valley, located in Jammu & Kashmir, is exposed to various natural hazards like earthquakes, landslides, and avalanches, posing risks to its people and infrastructure.

An increase in the number of fires in Jammu and Kashmir has been caused by various factors, including rapid population growth, unplanned urban development, and congested access routes. Negligence in using combustible materials and outdated wiring also contributes to the problem. Moreover, there is a lack of sufficient fire personnel, vehicles, and fire stations, making it difficult to control fires effectively.

ELFA International, in collaboration with the Directorate of School Education, Kashmir, organized a training program as part of its "Safe and Inclusive Schools Project" at the Directorate of School Education.

The primary goal of the program was to create awareness about School Safety and Inclusion among teachers, enabling them to effectively implement it in their schools and train other teachers and students.

The organization took significant steps to enhance school safety by distributing school safety kits, including fire extinguishers and a first-aid kit, to government schools in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time. The teachers attending the program were appointed as nodal officers to develop disaster preparedness plans in their respective schools, addressing their unique requirements and vulnerabilities, with support from ELFA International.

ELFA International follows an inclusive approach by seeking feedback from children after every workshop. This feedback mechanism is crucial for the organization as it helps assess the workshops' effectiveness, understand children's perspectives and needs, and make necessary improvements to enhance the program's quality.

Syeed Areej, the first female Ladishah of the valley and a team member at ELFA International, pioneered a unique approach by
integrating Ladishah to communicate safety measures. By incorporating Ladishah at the beginning and sometimes at the end of the workshops, she infuses the sessions with cultural richness. This creative method not only engages the children but also fosters a connection with their heritage, making the learning experience more meaningful and enjoyable.

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