International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   




Disaster reduction goes beyond trying to reduce the number and intensity of natural phenomena, or investing in infrastructure projects that mitigate the damage caused to infrastructure and people at risk. A number of factors underlying increased vulnerability are closely related to development models, environmental degradation, consumption patterns, etc.

It is widely recognized that substantive, sustainable change in disaster risk reduction requires efforts to promote prevention among children beginning in their early years of school. Such efforts should involve instruction in relevant subject areas, as well as children’s participation in understanding and changing risk factors in their immediate surroundings.

In addition, school infrastructure is a critical asset for community development, with an essential role as a focal point for the entire community. During emergency and disaster situations, many schools are used as temporary shelters.

Total or partial damage to school facilities not only puts children’s lives at risk, but also delays their return to normal education activities and restricts the use of this infrastructure as shelters when they are most needed. It is therefore of utmost importance that children be aware of the risks around them and that their schools be safe places maintained in optimal conditions.

When a disaster strikes, children are among the most vulnerable groups. Examples such as the recent earthquake in Pakistan, Hurricane Ivan in Grenada and Hurricane Stan in Guatemala, as well as frequent flooding, show us that school age children and their schools are the most strongly affected when a disaster occurs. For this reason, disaster risk education and the safety of school facilities are two of the priority areas set forth by the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, adopted by 168 governments during the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, held in January 2005.
Accordingly, the 2006-2007 World Disaster Reduction Campaign titled “Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School” aims to promote the incorporation of disaster risk education into the school curricula in countries vulnerable to natural hazards, as well as the safe construction and retrofitting of school buildings so that they can resist natural hazards.
As part of the activities of this campaign, the ISDR, UNICEF, PLAN INTERNATIONAL and the IFRD have organized a painting contest to promote children’s participation in schools throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
The contest is open to preschool and primary school students in Latin America and the Caribbean who send their artwork to the UNIFEC office in their respective countries or to the UNICEF Regional Office in Panama by July 31, 2007.

Who may participate?

-Boy and girls 5 to 12 years of age attending preschool or primary school in any education center in Latin America and the Caribbean.

How can they participate?

- The contest is structured around education centers, national organizations, associations, etc., that work with children, each of which may enter at least one work of art per category, based on a previous selection (using their own criteria).

-The contest organizers will only award prizes to 12 winners and will not cover the costs of prizes or other expenses associated with internal contests.

-Drawings and paintings should be 8.5”x11” (21.59 x 27.94 cm.) or letter size (at most) rendered on paper, cardboard, construction paper or any other available material. The artwork should be sent in a sealed envelope to the UNICEF country offices or the UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, located in Panama, at the following address:

PO BOX 0843-03045

-The following information should be included on the back of each entry:
? Title of the artwork
? Name of the school
? First and last name(s) of the participant
? Grade and section
? Age
? Address
? E-mail address
? School telephone number
? Contact teacher’s telephone number

-The authors of the paintings are responsible for ensuring that their entries have never been published.

What materials may be used?
-Any drawing or painting utensils may be used: markers, crayons, color pencils, tempera, watercolors, charcoal, graphite pencils, etc.

Main theme of the contest: What should the artwork be about?

-The themes of the drawings or paintings will be:

“We learn to prevent disasters at school”
“ I am aware of and prevent risks at my school”¨

How will the entries be evaluated?

-Entries will be evaluated in three categories:

Category A: Children up to 5 years of age.
Category B: Children 6 to 9 years of age.
Category C: Children 10 to 12 years of age.

- A first, second and third place, and an honorable mention will be selected in each category. These 12 works of art will be used in the production of the 2008 Calendar and will be posted on the UNICEF, UN/ISDR, Plan International and IFRC websites.

How will entries be evaluated?

Entries will be evaluated according the following criteria:

• Creativity
• Connection to the contest theme
• Message
• Originality

What are the prizes?

Prizes will be given to the education centers and the winning children.

• Prizes for the winning children:

Category A: Preschool children up to 5 years of age
First prize: a painting/art kit, a diploma and a medal
Second prize: a certificate and a medal
Third prize: a certificate and a medal

Category B: Children 6 to 9 years of age
First prize: a painting/art kit, a diploma and a medal
Second prize: a certificate and a medal
Third prize: a certificate and a medal

Category C: Children 10 to 12 years of age
First prize: a painting/art kit, a diploma and a medal
Second prize: a certificate and a medal
Third prize: a certificate and a medal

• Prizes for education centers:

Risk reduction projects will be carried out in those education centers with prize-winning artwork in all categories. This will include signposting, staff training and infrastructure improvement, in a total amount based on the prize (first, second or third place).

-Funds will be given upon submission of a proposal to the Organizing Committee indicating how the funds will be used for risk reduction projects (signposting, staff training and infrastructure improvement, etc.).

-Education centers with prize-winning children will receive an educational packet of materials.

-Winners will be contacted by the organizers and funds will be disbursed upon submission of the proposal on the abovementioned topics.

-Prize-winning paintings, along with the names and the photographs of the authors, will be available on the websites listed below.

What about the dates?

Date for issuing the contest rules: October 2006
Deadline for receiving artwork: July 31, 2007
Publication of the results: October 10, 2007
Exhibition of all participating paintings and awards ceremony: October 10, 2007 (International Day for Disaster Reduction).

Who is on the panel of judges?

-A representative of the ISDR
-A representative of Plan International.
-A representative of the IFRD
-A representative of UNICEF
-A prominent personality in the art world
- A teacher.

The panel will be responsible for announcing the list of winners during the last week of September 2007. Results will be notified in writing to the education centers and the students, and will be posted on the following websites:

What will happen to the entries received and selected?

The entries received, selected and awarded a prize will become the property of the sponsoring organizations and may be reproduced in various formats (publications, videos, posters, etc.), under the terms that these institutions deem appropriate. The authors will be duly acknowledged. No artwork will be returned.


Should you have any questions regarding the rules and the results of this contest, please contact:
Ruth Custode:
Phone number: 507-317-1124