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Students’ app promotes disaster preparedness

By: - Copy Editor / @RCamongolINQ
/ 01:12 AM March 01, 2015
Screen shots of the game showing what to do in different situations.

SCREENGRAB of the game showing what to do in different situations.

With the onslaught of typhoons “Yolanda” in 2013 and “Ruby” last year, the need for disaster preparedness in the country has become more pressing than ever.

A group of students has seen this as an opportunity to address the issue in a unique yet engaging way.

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The Save the Day mobile application introduces the concept of disaster preparedness in a fun way through games featuring cute animated characters that allow the user to cope with emergencies or disaster situations.

The app was developed by Ateneo de Manila University management students Nicole Patricia Nuguid, Francis Eldon Mabutin, Elaine Co, Janala Mikha Cudala, Merolyn Joy Cruz, Arianne Lizz Teobengco, Jan Erika Gannaban, Sheryl Lim and Lorianne Halago.

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Available on Google Play and as a browser game, Save the Day was conceived by RKI Creatives, a company established in July 2014 through Ateneo’s leadership and strategy course, focusing on social entrepreneurship.

Personal experience

Drawing from their own personal disaster experiences, the creators of the app say they want to provide innovative solutions to social concerns, such as mitigating the effects of calamities.

“It’s disaster risk-reduction made fun,” Mabutin says. “It’s an application aimed at educating users, especially those aged 5 to 19, on what to do when disaster strikes.”

Nuguid says she hopes to disabuse people of the notion that only adults should be concerned with disaster preparedness.

“It’s so scientific, it’s something very serious or frightening, that [young people] avoid thinking about it,” she tells the Inquirer. “When the time (disaster) comes, that’s only when we act on it.”

When Yolanda made landfall, people didn’t know what a storm surge was, Mabutin says.

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“They weren’t prepared,” he says. “With our app, we try to educate them: ‘What is a storm surge; what should you do in case there’s a warning for it?’”

According to the app’s Facebook page, its developer RKI Creatives—with RKI standing for “Realidad, Kalidad, Integridad”—aims to provide creative solutions to social issues, especially disaster preparedness, while upholding core values, such as grounding in reality, quality of work, integrity, creativity and innovation.

Aspiring to be a major player in the mobile gaming industry, RKI Creatives says it is “committed to delivering entertaining games that promote social awareness among mobile users, both children and adults.”

Social entrepreneurship

The team won recognition and a cash prize for Save the Day during the Social Entrepreneurship Venture Day Manila 2014 on Nov. 28, 2014. The contest took place on the third day of the social enterprise conference organized by Peace and Equity Foundation with Ateneo–John Gokongwei School of Management and IE Business School of Madrid, Spain. It was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Quezon City.

The contest organizers seek to recognize efforts in addressing social concerns through innovative business ideas with an impact on society.

Ten groups were recognized for their business plans that not only addressed a social problem, but also were sustainable endeavors that would benefit communities here and abroad.

Personal experience

Some finalists submitted plans to produce goods sourced directly from farmers, helping to create job opportunities for them as well as their communities. The products include BeHearty banana flour, Friggies health fruit juice, Gourmet Keso and Gatas Carabao Milk of GK Enchanted Farms, Kape del Sol premium coffee from Davao, Akaba Design accessories made from Inabel cloth from Ilocos Norte, and Maruyog Charms’ handmade accessories crafted with Guimaras root crops and stones believed to possess restorative powers.

Other finalists submitted programs and online innovations that would assist various sectors.

The Friendly Restaurant app from OurCityLove of Taiwan is a database of establishments that may be described as “disabled friendly.” The companies included in the database are those that hire physically challenged people to survey areas and collect information themselves, providing them with livelihood.

Campus tours

Another app is Sprout Agriculture—an online platform that encourages communication and feedback among the “agri-entrepreneur” members, helping them to better market or improve their agricultural products.

There is also an app devoted solely to the Association of Women in Small Business Assistance—an alliance of nongovernment organizations in Indonesia supporting low-income women entrepreneurs engaging in traditional handicraft.

Since the competition, RKI has been working on improving Save the Day by correcting glitches in the system, Nuguid says. The team has also been promoting the app by going on campus tours.

RKI Creatives encourages people to learn more about disaster preparedness by playing the game online or downloading the app. Search for Save the Day RKI on Google Play or visit SavetheDayRKI on Facebook and @SavetheDay_RKI on Twitter.

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