One of the initiatives established by non-profit organisation ‘Teachers without Borders’ is developing safe child-friendly spaces and psychosocial education in crisis areas. It is important that displaced families and children are able to access secure and safe zones where children can start to rebuild their lives and continue their education.
TWB follow specific guidelines for the development of child-friendly spaces (CFS). This mindmap outlines important considerations and goals for the success of child-friendly spaces. The CFS have a multidimensional focus, and address the total needs of the child as a learner.
Areas within a camp need to be located, assessed and developed into safe and secure child-friendly spaces. These spaces need to be easily accessible and provide appropriate conditions for continued education, psychosocial and health support. Staffed by trained teachers and volunteers sensitive to the trauma and circumstances, the CFS should be stimulating settings equipped with quality resources which support learning programmes and activities. Planned curriculum should take into account cultural factors, gender and cater to individual needs. Integration of play and recreation activities aids rehabilitation. Provision must also be made for children with disabilities and those deemed ‘at risk’ in other areas of their lives. Returning an established routine to displaced children’s lives provides a sense of normalcy.
The success of child-friendly spaces within refugee settlements depends on the support and collaboration of the local community. Development guidelines need to be flexible and rely on available budget and resources.
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