News & Stories Changing Lives Protecting students from natural disasters Many parts of Afghanistan suffer from frequent natural disasters, such as floods, landslides and earthquakes, which destroy homes, infrastructure and lives. In remote rural villages, Afghanaid provides schools with assistance to keep their students safe when disasters strike. We establish school-based disaster management committees made up of students and teachers, and provide them with equipment and training to enable them to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. Through these committees, we ensure that boys and girls know how to keep themselves and each other safe so that they can go on to achieve their true potential, transform their futures and contribute to the development of their communities. “My name is Mohammad Hashim; I am the head teacher at Dhane Shorkhak High School and the chair of the School-Based Disaster Management Committee established by Afghanaid here. Our school teaches students aged from 7 years up to 22 years. During the winter it is very cold and there is a lot of snowfall and often avalanches. Then, every spring, it rains heavily for two months and our community is hit by floods. Afghanaid helped us to form a school-based disaster management committee and taught us how to address the problems which our students face as a result of natural disasters and extreme weather. Through this committee, Afghanaid taught us how to identify disasters, what the main hazards affecting our community are, what the main risks are and how we can mitigate them. Now we know how to identify when an avalanche or flood is coming, and we know how and when to evacuate the school, so that everyone is kept safe. We also know how to reduce the impact of disasters and hazards when they do occur. Thanks to training from Afghanaid, we can assist students and other villagers with first aid treatment if they get injured, and we have the skills to repair damaged buildings. We have been able to share our new knowledge with the rest of the school and the wider community, so that everyone can keep safe and, as a committee, we have bi-weekly meetings to discuss current and potential issues and risks. Now, both the students and the teachers are comfortable, we can continue our teaching and they can continue their studying without worry or risk. The students are happy and I am confident that the they will be able to build better futures for themselves now that they have the opportunity to get a better education. I can see that, thanks to Afghanaid, the future for our school, and for our entire community, will now continue to get better and we really are so grateful.” Find out more about how we support communities to prepare for disasters and recover during emergencies. Support our work and help us to reach more vulnerable communities.