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Getting the message accross

DW Crowds at boat races hear Typhoon prevention message

Animation: getting the message across

For the past decade, DW in Vietnam has promoted the preventive strengthening of houses and small public buildings so they can resist the impact of annual cyclones (typhoons) which habitually cause huge damage. A major issue in getting people to make their homes safer is that families did not know that preventive strengthening is possible. They need to be aware that prevention is essentially easy and affordable, and they need to know that it is much cheaper than rebuilding after a disaster.
To address this in each commune DW has organised a wide variety of animation and awareness raising events and distributes products with a prevention message. Each activity – a play, a concert, a street event - deals in its own way with the risk of storms, the damage they cause and the action that one can take to reduce vulnerability and these events are accompanied by information handouts and house-to-house visits with practical information. The animation activities have been undertaken in diversified forms which encourage the participation of different groups of people (children, youth and families) in each commune.
Many of the animation activities are designed to be “memorable” - events that one will recall maybe months or even years later. They include the organisation of concerts with local musicians, singers and poets, many of whom perform their own material written for the project. There are theatrical pays (some written and performed by project staff). The project provides songs and text used on commune loudspeaker systems, and it makes use of radio and TV. In 2006 during a special “damage prevention week” a decorated truck toured each commune with a full-size ‘safe house’ on the back, attracting many stares and questions .