You have helped to give children in emergencies a childhood again

April 27, 2018

Disasters like conflict often dramatically disrupt and alter the lives of those impacted by it.

Children are at the centre of it all.

With support from Irish Aid World Vision has built a Child Friendly Space to support internally displaced children in Sudan. It is a beehive of activity inside. The voices of the happy children fill the atmosphere as they engage in an array of interactive activities.

Thanks to the Irish public these children have an escape from the terrors they have been exposed to as a result of conflict and food shortages. In these child friendly spaces they have a chance to receive counselling and play. They can be children again here and that’s the best gift that you can give them.

Meet Zubeida the future doctor!

Seven-year-old Zubeida is generally quiet as she plays doctor with her doll. In full gear with the stethoscope in place, Zubeida takes her “patient’s” heart rate.

She embodies the hopes and dreams that make up the total sum of all the children in the World Vision centre.

As Zubeida plays doctor, in another corner, some children strum their guitars, while others are drawing and colouring.

There’s something for everyone in the room.

More than 300 children come to the centre daily and they love spending their time there. They have plenty of materials to play with, and also aid their learning.

Eight-year-old Yassin is very playful with her doll. “I like it here because we have different activities to do that help us to learn,” she says.

About the Child Friendly Spaces:

“The centre offers the children an escape from their reality and the struggles that stalk them,” explains Hyat Eltoum, the-World Vision Child and Gender officer who works with the children.

Before the centre was established, children played in very unsafe places, such as near the rivers and in the bushes. “Because the children were unsupervised, they didn’t know that these places are extremely dangerous for them because they risk being harmed or violated,” Hyat says.

With funding from the Government of Ireland, funded by the Irish taxpayer, World Vision supported the construction of two indoor play areas for the children, as well as a combined office for the facilitators and storage for the play materials.

World Vision also provided the centre with playground equipment like swings, skipping ropes, slides, and supplies for various play activities.

“Some of the children who come are very troubled, some isolate themselves and so we have to counsel them and find out what’s troubling them. Most come here having not eaten anything and so there’s a lot of issues we have to deal with,” Enash Ahmed –social worker articulates.

With the supervision and help of trained and dedicated animators, the children play at least three hours a day. The Child Friendly Space also has trained social workers who provide the children with psychosocial support.

Thank you for helping to make this possible and for giving these children time to be a child again.