What's a Child Friendly Space?
In South Gaza, children affected by the Israeli-Gaza conflict share their feelings and emotions through painting. Psychosocial activities like this, help children deal with their trauma. Photo: Alex Snary/World Vision
World Vision answers your frequently asked questions regarding Child-Friendly Spaces.What are Child-Friendly Spaces?
How do they benefit children in emergencies? Child-Friendly Spaces offer children a safe place to play and the support they need to deal with grief and loss. The centers are available to all children in a community, regardless of how they have been affected by the disaster or displacement. Child-Friendly Spaces provide things like:
- Child-Friendly Spaces are safe places within a disaster-affected community where children's unique needs can be met. They help children return to a normal routine by offering structured activities, games and informal education.
- World Vision recognizes that when emergencies occur, children are often the most vulnerable to injury, exploitation, abuse and other dangers. Child-Friendly Spaces are one of the ways in which we prioritize the care and protection of children in emergencies.
How do they benefit communities and families?
- Fun activities such as games, sports, singing, drama and puppet-making
- Informal learning opportunities in reading, basic hygiene and life lessons
- A chance for children to express their feelings of fear and loss through creative play, stories and group interactions
- Distribution of things like lunch boxes, water bottles, books and drawing equipment to supplement the basic survival items World Vision distributes to families
- Help to reunite separated children with their families
- Protection and referrals for orphans, abused children or disabled children (children are referred to specialized services whenever possible)
- A chance for parents to go about their daily activities without worrying about their children's safety. After emergencies, children can be injured from playing in collapsed buildings and houses.
Where has World Vision offered Child-Friendly Space?
- Whenever possible, our programs are carried out with local partners such as community associations, national development groups and churches. Local volunteers and youth help organize activities for children, and can benefit from their own support group discussions. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
- World Vision builds upon a community's traditional coping mechanisms and focuses on reconnecting children with family members, friends and neighbors. Child-Friendly Spaces assure the safety of a community's youngest members by offering indoor and outdoor activity areas, waste disposal, latrines, washing facilities and potable water.
When you give to World Vision's Disaster Response Fund, you're helping us ensure that children are cared for in the midst of crises and emergencies.
- In the early days of a disaster, World Vision undertakes assessments specifically related to children. Where Child-Friendly Spaces are an appropriate intervention, World Vision moves quickly by sending for equipment, recruiting volunteers and considering potential locations.