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Chile: a children’s emergency support kit that is also fun

20 April 2017|Briefing note

UNICEF Chile/2015/Mario Ruiz

Kit lúdico de apoyo a niños y niñas en situaciones de emergencia en Chile
© UNICEF Chile/2015/M. Ruiz

The Chile Crece Contigo (“Chile Grows with You”) subsystem of the Chilean Ministry of Social Development has put a number of measures in place to support people who lose all their belongings in a catastrophe. Measures implemented since 2016 include the provision of a special emergency kit for children under 9 years old. This kit was developed in the light of lessons learned after the wildfires of April 2014 in Valparaiso, the March 2015 floods in Atacama and the Coquimbo earthquake in September that same year. It is meant to supplement initial psychological support measures and reduce children’s anxiety while helping the parents or adults responsible for dealing with the aftermath of the emergency.

Once the ministry has received the report from the relevant communal emergency office and the Basic Emergency Register (FIBE) has been activated, the kit is delivered to all children from affected households who have been taken into shelter. The kit consists of a satchel containing a pack of two identification wristbands, a mini wind-up torch, a blanket, a rain cape, a plastic tableware set for meals, a set of colouring books, a set of thick-tipped wax pencils, a set of stickers, a set of modelling putty and moulds, a set of tattoos, finger puppets, a toy figure, a children’s story, a bubble blower, a small bouncing ball and a booklet of recommendations for parents.

To date, the kit has been provided to children who lost their homes after the Quellón earthquake in December 2016 and the megafires in January 2017.