One of the things that worries me as a mom, especially when I’m not with my son, is when he gets caught up in emergency situations that he isn’t prepared for. In cases of earthquakes, fire, or lockdowns in school, does he know what to do, and if he does, will he be able to execute what he knows in situations that may paralyze even the most knowledgeable adult? Good thing I was able to attend an event that alleviated my fear.
SAFE STEPS Kids, a new safety awareness programme developed by Prudence Foundation, in partnership with Cartoon Network, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was officially launched last Friday at Manila Ocean Park. It aims to equip millions of children across the country with life-saving information that they can apply in the event of emergencies or disaster situations.
In 2014, Manny Pacquiao helped launch the successful, more adult-focused SAFE STEPS programme, which sought to enhance disaster preparedness and awareness by providing key survival tips for natural disasters. Now Prudence Foundation’s SAFE STEPS Kids programme has expanded to reach a younger generation and includes a series of kid-centric, practical, and easy-to-understand tips with the help of Cartoon Network’s well-loved cartoon characters.
The initiative comprises a series of twelve (12) 50-second public service announcements. Each video features a set of characters from a well-known Cartoon Network series who will anchor the storytelling process to raise awareness and provide educational information to Filipino kids. The messages addressing three types of key life-threating issues (Disasters, First Aid, and Road Safety) are approved by IFRC.
The first category of videos to launch focuses on Disasters (Fire, Flood, Typhoon, and Earthquake), featuring the irrepressible superhero trio, The Powerpuff Girls. Later in the year, the First Aid episodes (Choking, Broken Bones, Burns, and Wound/Severe Bleeding) will be rolled out, featuring We Bare Bears. Last but not the least are the videos on Road Safety (Seatbelt, Helmet, Pedestrian, and Distracted Driving), featuring characters from The Amazing World of Gumball.
The videos on the Disaster topics have been on air since May 2019 across Cartoon Network’s channel in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. From August 2019 onwards, First Aid and Road Safety topics will be released.
“Efforts to simplify any process for kids, especially in the matter of safety, will always be a worthwhile initiative the Department of Education (DepEd) will openly embrace,” said DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua
“SAFE STEP Kids programme is a great opportunity to build a culture of safety in the Philippines, which we carry out through school safety or humanitarian education on disaster risk reduction and health promotion. This initiative does not only educate, but also enables children to be proactive when it comes to saving lives at an early age,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon.
“For DepEd, finding the right partners, with the same dedication to learners, and committed to Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones’ vision of providing Quality, Accessible, Relevant, and Liberating Basic Education for all is always key. Being able to effectively reach our learners, and in a format and manner they enjoy, is a welcome bonus” added Usec. Pascua.
The educational messages and videos are available for easy viewing on the SAFE STEPS Kids website (www.safestepskids.com) and complement a series of collaterals (infographics and other print materials) that will be distributed to schools and communities across the country.
Leslie Lee, Vice President of Cartoon Network in Asia Pacific, added: “This unique partnership uses characters from shows that are really well loved in the Philippines. As the leading kids’ channel in the Philippines, Cartoon Network can create content that helps make this important message resonate with kids and their parents. Once again, the day is saved thanks to The Powerpuff Girls.”
These videos will air on Cartoon Network on Cignal Digital TV Channel 220 (HD), Sky Direct Channel 15 (HD), SkyCable Channel 178 (HD), and Destiny Cable Channel 178 (HD Digital) and on Cartoon Network’s social and online video platforms, websites and apps, including Cartoon Network Watch and Play.