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Education through traditional stories

Adapt traditional stories/tales to help raise awareness of climate change, its impacts and ways to make the community more resilient

Photo of Karn Shah
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

One of the problems with increasing the climate change resilience of communities - regardless of whether these are urban slums or other types of settlements - is the lack of awareness within the community of the various impacts of climate change on their daily lives and of how to react to these challenges. It can be very difficult to engage the community in facing challenges that may not be apparent in their day-to-day lives. For example, it is challenging to convince families to make their housing more flood resilient until after a flood event, when the need becomes more apparent. By this point, it is generally too late. Our idea is to use traditional stories, but add a focus on climate change impacts and ideas on how to adapt. Stories are a powerful tool - the stories that we hear in our childhood often stay with us for the rest of our lives. For example, the story of the Three Little Pigs and the big bad wolf is popular in many cultures. By adapting this fable, the wolf can be painted as "Climate Change", with the power to wreak havoc on houses and families. The pig who builds the house with the wolf in mind survives - an aspect of the story that could be used to communicate the importance of building housing that is resilient to climate change. This is just one example of how information on climate change and different adaptation methods can be disseminated in an interactive and community-focused manner.

WHO BENEFITS?

The beneficiaries of this proposal are the community members. By raising awareness of the impacts of climate change on the community, whether that is related to sudden events such as floods or day-to-day challenges such as increased heat risk, overpopulation and food/water shortages, that community will be better prepared to face these challenges. This is also an effective way to present ideas on how the community could react to these challenges (comics on urban planning, urban gardening, etc).

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

It utilises the work that has been done to date by partner organisations on developing solutions in the fight against climate change. There are many excellent projects being implemented currently that deal with resilient infrastructure, urban planning, food security, etc. However, presenting these ideas in the form of various options in a "handbook" for practitioners - or communities - can sometimes fail to engage the end user. This idea harnesses the power of storytelling to enable the local organisations and institutions to transfer their knowledge to a wider audience, thus helping the community make itself better prepared for the future.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for one year or less

EXPERTISE

  • I do not have experience working in a sector related to my idea

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

We are a group of engineers, urban planners, hydrologists and scientists, keen to put our technical background and experience working in the developing world to good use.

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Photo of Sean Ardley
Team

This is wonderful. The challenges of seeding the new mythology in the local culture will be a fun one, and very culture-specific. But this has the potential to be vastly helpful and with some volunteer implementation, nearly free and infinitely scalable. I love it I love it.

Photo of Karn Shah
Team

Hi Sean,

Thanks for your message. You highlight an important point - this idea can be applied in every context, and be made culture specific at the same time. We envisage engaging the help of those who have local cultural knowledge during the development phase, as they are best placed to identify what stories work and what don't. Would you like to collaborate with us on this idea? If so, we'd love to add you to our team.

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