The Pillowcase Project Toolkit


The American Red Cross and the Global Disaster Preparedness Center, with sponsorship from the Walt Disney Company, are preparing school-aged children around the world for disasters through The Pillowcase Project. The curriculum aims to empower children with the confidence and skill-set to take appropriate actions in reducing the potential impact of a disaster. A core component of the program is the emphasis placed on students sharing lessons learned with their families and communities after the presentation. The GDPC works with National Societies to adapt and scale the curriculum in their local context.  Since 2014, the GDPC has piloted The Pillowcase Project internationally in six countries – Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam – preparing over 100,000 students for disasters. National Societies interested in expanding upon their school-based disaster risk reduction programming may reach out to the GDPC completing the contact form below this page.

The Pillowcase Project

The Pillowcase Project curriculum consists of a 60-80 minute classroom presentation, given by Red Cross or Red Crescent staff and volunteers, designed to teach students (ages 8-11) about local hazards, basic psychosocial coping skills, and general preparedness actions. For an overview of the Project, access here.

Implementation Process 

National Societies and partner organizations interested in adopting and implementing the tools could find more information on the project adoption in The Pillowcase Project interactive documentary.


Use cases 

  • The Pillowcase Project International Pilot: Peru Video Case Study. Read more
  • Nepal Red Cross Case Study on School Disaster Preparedness. Read more
  • In Southeast Louisiana, youth reinforced their preparedness education aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Read more

Youth preparedness

Youth preparedness is an integral component of effective disaster risk reduction. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups facing hazards, however, they are often underutilized in their capacity as agents of change in developing resilient communities. Aligned with pillar II and III of the Comprehensive School Safety Framework, The Pillowcase Project engages students in disaster management activities and integrates risk reduction throughout the curriculum.
By empowering children to be resilient in facing disaster, The Pillowcase Project’s informal educational activities aim to encourage youth knowledge sharing that extends beyond the classroom and to the wider scope of community resilience. The Comparative Review of the Pillowcase Project and the Community Impact Study of the Pillowcase Project (currently being conducted), contributes to the growing foundation of evidence-based practice-validating The Pillowcase Project as an effective and scalable tool school-safety initiative.

Related Content

RFP – Community Impact Study of The Pillowcase Project
RFP – Community Impact Study of The Pillowcase Project
By Bonnie Haskell
  The Red Cross Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC) seeks to conduct a community impact stu...
Pakistan: Children can play an important role in disaster preparedness
Pakistan: Children can play an important role in disaster preparedness
By Global Disaster Preparedness Center
An article by Amir Murtaza published by the Asian Human Rights Commission on the interests and capab...
Building Capacities: Volunteers and Youth in Asia Pacific
By Renata Barradas Gutierrez
Building Capacities: Best Practices in Asia Pacific – Volunteers and Youth (1/5) The vast majo...