Kids get safety lesson in the form of rhyme

Like many primary school teachers, Martina Kuibae entertains and educates her students with nursery rhymes.

But for the year 2 teacher from the Solomon Islands, there is a more serious note to her playtime.

Using catchy rhymes, the 29-year-old has spent three years teaching students how to stay safe when threatened by natural disasters.

Speaking to St Brigid's Catholic Primary School students on Wednesday morning, she emphasised the value of Caritas Australia's Project Compassion programs, which had trained her in disaster risk management.

"In our pidgin language the children have learnt rhymes on how to be safe in cyclones, tsunamis, floods and earthquakes," she said.

"Children often get left behind and don't know what to do in natural disasters."

After an earthquake and tsunami in 2007 left 52 people dead and affected around 18,000 children, Miss Kuibae felt compelled to act.

"This program has made a difference," she said.

"Last year the children knew what to do when there were warnings for a tsunami and a flood.

"We taught a few children and then everyone in the area knew the song."

Miss Kuibae said Caritas had also rebuilt her school's early childhood education centre and introduced fresh water supplies through water tanks.

Wollongong Catholic Diocese's schools and parishes raised more than $278,000 last year for Project Compassion.

To donate, visit caritas.org.au/projectcompassion or phone 1800 024 413.

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