When disaster strikes, children’s right to play often gets left behind. The pressing needs of survival take centre stage.
To help children overcome the trauma of disaster, and find some normality in the face of a crisis, Plan creates child-friendly spaces. Here, children can come to play, learn, relax and get support. Older children can learn about their rights, as well as gain sexual education and job or business skills.
Child-friendly spaces are especially important for girls, who are often the most vulnerable in disasters.
When children are spending time at the child-friendly spaces, this also frees up parents’ time to deal with pressing issues such as securing food and housing.
Take a tour of Plan’s child-friendly spaces!
El Salvador: Girls make handicrafts at a Plan child-friendly space at a school with limited resources.
El Salvador: Girls colour pictures at a Plan child-friendly space where they can play and learn in a safe environment.
Timor-Leste: Girls play at a Plan child-friendly space for children who were displaced from their homes and are now living in an IDP camp.
Timor-Leste: A staff member reads a story to children in a Plan child-friendly space in an internally displaced persons camp.
Timor-Leste: A girl jumps high over a skipping rope at a Plan child-friendly space created to allow children living in an IDP camp take a break from camp life.
Haiti: This child-friendly space was built by Plan in Jacmel to serve children affected by the 2010 earthquake.
Haiti: Clowns Without Borders bring smiles to children affected by the 2010 earthquake in a Plan child-friendly space.
Haiti: Two girls play with a puzzle at a Plan child-friendly space in Camp Rosenberg.
Haiti: Plan’s bracelet making project at a child-friendly space in Jacmel gives girls and boys ages 12 to 24 something to do after school, as well as a way to earn money and learn business skills.
Haiti: Children take a dance class at a Plan child-friendly space in Ganthier an area affected by the earthquake in 2010.
Pakistan: Girls and boys play soccer together at a Plan child-friendly space where Plan also provides “emotional first aid” to children after flooding in 2010.
Pakistan: Plan child-friendly spaces, like this one here, were set up during the 2010 floods to help children to return to normal life.
Pakistan: Plan staff hold a monthly meeting about sexual health and life skills with girls at a child-friendly space.
What kinds of activities or materials do YOU think Plan’s child-friendly spaces should have?