Bilqis (left) and Rafif (right), the winners of drawing competition entitled "Let's Prevent Fire 2016!"
“Run out of the house!” the children yelled when they were asked what to do if there is a fire in the house. The children gathered in the hall of Community Association (Rukun Warga/RW) in one of sub-districts in Surabaya. Assisted by field facilitator of Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), they were doing an activity to refresh their knowledge about fire. It is related to the cause of fire, how to prevent a fire and what to do during a fire.
The activity was also intended as an appreciation and awarding day for children who had participated in drawing contest whose theme was “Let’s Prevent Fire!” The contest was held after the children received a socialization about the dangerous of fire which was presented by Sahabat Anak Simokerto (SAS) or Simokerto Child’s Best Friend.
There were 180 children who participated in the activity to disseminate a message in preventing a fire through their drawings. Rafif (12) told his experience when he saw his mother and neighbor received a call while they were cooking. He reminded them that it was dangerous. “Do not leave a stove on. You should also not receive a call while you are cooking. You will not know if something happen with the gas cylinder. It can explode,” Rafif explained. He drew a woman who receives a phone call while she is cooking and it became the first place.
Bilqis (9) also shared the same message which is do not leave fire in the house. She said that a candle can start a fire if you are careless. It can burn a paper, a box or other flammable things and cause a bigger fire. Bilqis was really happy because she could involve in fire prevention. “I really like drawing. I want people to remember that it is dangerous to play candles inside the house,” she said.
Involving children in socialization of fire was supported by the community. “I am really happy that WVI can give children an opportunity to express themselves through drawing. They could express their talents while campaigning about fire prevention. I am proud to see their works,” Elies (43) said, one of the SAS members.
Socialization about fire becomes important. It can improve the knowledge and awareness of the community since there were two fires in the area of Sidodadi and Simolawang between July 2016 and September 2016. Fire rate in Surabaya is quite high. Referring to Surabaya in Figures 2015, reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics of Surabaya, there were 596 fires during 2015.
All drawings made by the child in the competition became a communication media for disaster risk reduction campaign which will continue to be done by WVI along with the community.
Written by Agni Rahadyanti, Child Sponsorship and Monitoring Program Coordinator Wahana Visi Indonesia, at Urban Surabaya operational office.