In children’s thoughts

 

In children’s thoughts

On 27 September 2017,  Jamilet Segura Gutierrez, 10, on her cot inside an a army tent at the La Perseverança shelter in Jojutla, Morelos, one of the hardest hit by the 19 September earthquake that struck Mexico. Jamilet said "I was in school and I thought the tree was going to fall over me. Many windows broke.  Now I'm afraid it will happen again, and even more strong."

As at 26 September 2017, 10,000 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Mexico following two powerful earthquakes that struck less than two weeks apart, threatening access to education for millions of children. Some seven million children live in areas affected by the earthquakes on September 8 and September 19.  UNICEF is working with its partners in areas affected by the earthquakes to establish temporary schools, promote school safety guidelines, train teachers in psychosocial support, and distribute education supplies and early childhood development kits to teachers and caregivers. Both earthquakes have resulted to 407 casualties, 190,000 buildings and 10,000 schools damaged in 8 states.  The Ministry of Education has announced an 8 step plan for a gradual return to school. All public schools need to be officially certified for safety conditions in the buildings to re- open. The Ministry of Education has announced UNICEF’s support in schools to help students deal with their fear or trauma.  After UNICEF ́s deployment to all affected areas to make a rapid assessment of the situation of children and women, 26 municipalities have been selected for interventions, mainly in education and child protection. Overall, the number of children targeted will be the 20,000 already identified in the South of Mexico, plus 40,000 in Central Mexico. Two UNICEF child friendly spaces were installed in Oaxaca, providing psycho-social support and each accommodating 300 children per week.

© UNICEF/UNI204560/Zehbrauskas

Two powerful earthquakes struck Mexico less than two weeks apart in September 2017, with some seven million children living in the affected areas.

While children experience earthquakes through the deaths of loved ones and the destruction of their homes and schools, they also have to deal with the ensuing fear and trauma. Children staying at a shelter in Jojutla, Morelos after their homes were damaged share their memories of the earthquake. UNICEF is setting up spaces for children to play, recover and receive support.

“I was in school and I thought the tree was going to fall over me. Many windows broke. Now I’m afraid it will happen again, and even more strong.”

Jamilet Segura Gutiérrez, 10.

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© UNICEF/UNI204559/Zehbrauskas

“ I was walking to school when it started trembling and I felt bad because I saw the houses fall and I was worried about my mom. When I got home all the things were on the floor and I was worried about how we were going to put them back.”

Ángel de Jesús Benítez García, 8.

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© UNICEF/UNI204561/Zehbrauskas

“I was alone in my house and I saw how a wall fell. Then I saw how the people were running and the houses were moving. I was afraid.”

Dalia Villanueva Benítez , 12.

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© UNICEF/UNI204583/Zehbrauskas

“I was on my bike, going to work with my brother and then I felt rocks falling and I thought it was raining at first, and then the houses started falling. There was a lot of traffic, everybody was looking for their children.”

Christian Villanueva Benítez, 15.

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© UNICEF/UNI204557/Zehbrauskas

“The houses fell, people were afraid because it was shaking. They were crying. I wanted to go back home and see my mom.”

María Guadalupe Benítez García, 6.