Chris de Bono, UNICEF’s Regional Chief of Communication in East Asia and Pacific, is in Japan for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. He took part in the youth forum to hear about young people’s experiences and views.
Catriona Ross, a young woman from the United Kingdom who is part of the Sendai Children and Youth Forum Organizing Committee, describes the process of building this event as “a huge learning process.”
She has gained a lot from meeting other participants who have very different life experiences and many of whom have personal experience of disasters, and can share the many different ways they have survived, rebuilt their lives and contributed to their communities.
One important achievement of the Forum for Catriona is that it fosters networks of young people who can continue to share what they’ve learned, ask each other questions about how to contribute to the resilience and preparedness of their communities, and swap ideas and enthusiasm.
She hopes that the government delegations at the 3rd World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction will see this very successful parallel forum as proof that young people from many different parts of the world can work together effectively as a team and understand from this that the world’s youth can make a substantial contribution to disaster risk reduction processes.
Catriona is hoping to remind the world that “young people are the next generation of leaders.”