I have chosen to work with the Teachers Without Borders Initiative of Child Friendly Spaces. I think it is very important that ALL children are given the opportunity to learn from as early an age as possible. The need to be able to do so in a safe and welcoming environment is imperative in any refugee camp, including Alexandria, as stated in my personal Vision and Mission statement.
After reading about the work that TWB advocates in this area, it was uplifting to see that many other organisations also considered this initiative to be important. These included…
International Rescue Committee Safe Spaces IRC have opened three Safe Spaces in Greece – Alexandria, Giannitsa and Chorso. They are learning and healing places for young children.
SOS International Children’s Villages Since 2015, SOS International have catered for approximately 440 children in their Children’s Villages in Greece – Athens and Lesbos. In their Child-Friendly Spaces the children take part in activities such as music, sport and storytelling.
World Vision International Child Friendly Spaces The CFS allow the children to play, participate in activities, learn about their rights for health and protection and experience healing from trauma. The CFS allow them to return to a sense of normalcy and routine.
Not only is it of the utmost importance for there to be child-friendly spaces but also for young children (kinder, early years prep – 3) to be involved in learn and play opportunities as much as possible.
Forbes Contributors Thomas Ehrlich and Ernestine Fu, for forbes.org, wrote the following article on the importance of early childhood education and stated that…
High-quality early childhood education is not a magic bullet to ensure that those participating will be destined to be successful in and out of school for the rest of their lives. Lots of other factors have real impact. But the evidence is overwhelming that the social and economic benefits of high-quality early education for children are both substantial and lasting. And they benefit not just the children who participate, but also our society as a whole. (Ehrlich & Fu, 2015)
I believe this is even more important in the case of children living in refugee camps at the moment. This video shows what one camp is doing in Turkey. It is catering for all children and young adults, teaching them valuable life skills as well. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more camps could follow this model.
Retrieved from YouTube, UNICEFmena, Life for Syrian children in the refugee camps in Turkey