"We the 150 participants of international Students' Summit on Earthquake Safety 2012, hereby pledge to make Nepal Disaster Resilient by reaching all families, Communities and settlements with disaster awareness message by 2032 A.D. We call upon all government, NGOs and private organizations as well as international development partners to join hands with us towards attending this common mission."
With this declaration from the students the 3-day Students Summit on Earthquake Safety concluded on August 27, 2012 in Gaindakot, Nawalparasi.
NSET in association with Nepal Government, Ministry of Education, Department of Education with funding support from USAID, UNICEF, American Red Cross, Save the Children, OXFAM, Practical Action, Action Aid-Nepal, Plan-Nepal, Maiko High School Japan and Nepal Red Cross Society organized a 3-day Summit (SES2012) of 150 students from 39 public and private schools from all over Nepal during August 24-26, 2012 in Gaindakot.
Each school sent one female and one male student of Grade 7-12 plus one male or female teacher as a guide. Two teachers and 10 students of Maiko School, Kobe, Japan also attended the Summit at their own cost. Local Kalika High school and three local non-profits, namely, VDRC, Sahamati, and Trinetra co-hosted the meet. SES2012 fully achieved its three objectives:
a) propagate earthquake awareness all over Nepal using students as ambassadors,
b) share good national and international practices of school disaster preparedness, and
c) enhance fraternity among students through common understanding on disaster risk reduction.
The summit agenda included
Awareness Rally, sharing of experiences in learning and implementing DRR,
Excursions to several development demonstration sites: community forestry, a retrofitted school, an old age home, community cooperative, bee-farm that was supported by USAID, and a community radio station.
An earthquake drill and a Shake Table demonstration, and evening cultural shows by the participants were also in the agenda together with creative competitions on paintings on DRR and CCA themes, team building exercises and a friendly soccer match among national and international participants. The participants were moved by the stories of devastation in Sendai, but were greatly encouraged by the fact that some of the participating Maiko High School students did work in east coast of Japan to assist the tsunami-affected children.
The Summit provided so much of enthusiasm to the participants that they wrote essays and poems expressing their commitments to DRR.
The SES2012 program though simple, but the impressions achieved in the minds of 150 participants are everlasting. The DRR pledge the participants made in Summit Declaration will definitely make a big difference in making Nepal disaster-resilient. It is because the pledge came from children who are now confident of implementing the lessons on how to make their future safe against earthquakes.