In October, the Spanish CUIDAR partner, Open University of Catalunya (UOC), began to conduct dialogues with children and young people, in weekly sessions from mid-October 2016 to mid-January 2017 in three simultaneous locations in Catalonia: Sant Celoni, Gandesa and Barcelona. Additionally, in early January, a fourth and final dialogue will be conducted in Lorca in Murcia, structured differently, with all the sessions taking place in one week in January. The estimated total duration of each workshop is 20 hours.

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These locations were selected based upon the results of UOC’s national scoping and interviews conducted with key informants (thanks to Subdirecció General de Coordinació i Gestió d’Emergències, Generalitat de Catalunya, for their tips and suggestions). The main criteria for choosing these four locations was to work with children and young people who live, or have lived, with tangible risks and or disasters in their everyday life. This decision was made so as to privilege, and build upon, their experience and embodied knowledge of risks and disasters.

As a way to foster diversity, we selected places with different backgrounds and experiences of risks and/or disasters:

In Gandesa we are working with children from a more rural environment, building upon their experience and knowledge on rural forestry and wildfires prevention. CUIDAR will benefit from, and build upon, the previous work of the project MEFITU, an interesting initiative from Fundació Pau Costa to raise awareness, and an experiment with social forestry from a hands-on perspective. This workshop is taking place in Escola Puig i Cavaller, with 30 students from the 6th Grade (15 boys and 15 girls).

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Sant Celoni is a town with a large number of chemical industries. The CUIDAR team will focus on this and work with a group of 25 young people (14-15 years old, 14 female and 11 male) who will be part of tests and simulations of chemical risk preparedness and prevention plans. This workshop will take place in Institut Baix Montseny, with students in the 3rd year of Secondary School.

Ciutat Meridiana in Barcelona gained public attention as the neighbourhood where the highest numbers of foreclosures and housing evictions in Spain has taken place. But the neighbourhood is also known for giving birth to several initiatives to counteract the effects of the crisis at community level. In this context, we will work with a group of 17 children of 4th Grade (9-10 years, 4 female and 12 male participants) from Escola Mestre Morera.

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Finally, in Lorca we will work with a group of young people (14-18 years old) who experienced the earthquake (measured at 5.1 on the Richter scale) that hit the city in 2011 and left nine dead and caused massive amounts of damage. The area has recently been affected by other disasters, such as intense flash flood episodes in 2012 and heat waves, such as the one which occurred in 2015. The CUIDAR project will explore the cultures of resilience developed by young people after these recent disasters.