Photo: Richard Hanson/Tearfund
Photo: Richard Hanson/Tearfund


From the moment we wake up each morning we are faced with a variety of risks – when we travel, when we eat, and in our relationships. Some of the risks we face are more serious than others. It is not possible to live our lives without facing risks and deciding how to manage them. We often make an assessment of the risk automatically – making an instant decision on how to respond based on our experience and knowledge. For example, if a storm looks likely, we close the windows and bring the children inside.

Risk is defined as the probability of a hazardous event occurring and the impact of that event. Managing risk can be done in three main ways. You can:

  • try to eliminate the risk completely
  • reduce the risk
  • work with the risk.

Risks can be managed at two main levels – individually and as a community. Most of the articles in this issue of Footsteps consider how we can manage everyday risk at an individual level. We look at how we can reduce risks in the home (page 10) and at work (page 6).

On pages 2 and 12 we also consider some principles for road safety and personal safety. The centre pages feature a game which can be used with adults and children to teach them about making safe choices. Finally, on page 14 we explain the importance of a written risk assessment and give guidelines on how to carry it out.

On pages 4 and 16 we hear from two organisations that have made changes in their communities to reduce risk. Risks can undermine development work, so it is important for communities to identify key risks and then reduce them. The United Nations has a framework for action to reduce the risks associated with disasters. One of the priorities of this framework is ‘to use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels’.

Although many of the articles focus on how to manage or reduce risks, in our Bible study on page 13 we consider the importance of taking balanced, measured risks for God.

We hope you enjoy this issue and that you use the knowledge shared by other organisations to learn practical ways to manage the everyday risks you face in your own community.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 79 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 79, please click here (637KB).

  • Bible study: Taking risks for God

    A good example of someone who took great risks was Abraham (originally known as Abram). Though the risks that Abraham took were huge, they were measured and balanced because he knew the character of God. He trusted God.

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  • Letters

    Mosquito nets My name is Jorge Lacoste, I live with my family in Argentina and I have read about the problem of malaria and mosquito bites in Africa.

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  • Managing our personal safety

    by Jeremy Taylor Many of us live in, work in or visit places where we have to deal with threats to our personal safety on a regular basis. Managing those threats and keeping ourselves safe can seem like a daily battle.

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  • Resources

    PILLARS Preparing for disaster This PILLARS Guide encourages communities to consider possible risk situations and helps them prepare to respond effectively. It includes infor mation on first aid, emergency stores and community shelters.

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  • Risks in the home

    It is very easy to associate risks with places and events outside the home, but every day thousands of people are injured within their home by accidents that could have been avoided. Here are four simple ways of reducing the risk of injury or death to household members.

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  • Using games

    Compiled by Rebecca Dennis. Board games can be fun to play and can be used to teach adults and children (aged seven and upwards) some important lessons. One example is the popular game of Snakes and Ladders, which is shown and explained on these pages. One of the strengths of this game is that the messages and language can be adapted to the local situation. This version shows how everyday risks can be reduced and what can happen if we do not manage them.

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