|World Vision protects and cares for the most vulnerable victims of disasters by establishing Child-Friendly Spaces in affected communities. |
Child-Friendly Spaces provide a disaster’s youngest survivors with a safe place to play, participate in structured activities, and experience healing from any trauma and loss they’ve experienced. They also allow children to return to healthy routines and experience a sense of normalcy again.
Child-Friendly Spaces provide children with safety and structure in the midst of a crisis. Photo by G. Jeff Lamigo/World Vision
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|2011 World Vision||Japan Earthquake/Tsunami—March 2011|
» A 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami killed more than 10,000 people on Japan's northeast coast. With many schools damaged or destroyed, World Vision's Child-Friendly Spaces provide kids an opportunity to participate in informal education and structured activities. Children are encouraged to express their feelings, such as 9-year-old Hikaru, who says: “I wonder how I can live and rebuild my family’s house. I am worried about that a tsunami like this one might come again."
|© 2010 World Vision||Haiti Earthquake—January 2010|
» A massive 7.0 earthquake left more than 1.2 million Haitians homeless. World Vision is running Child-Friendly Spaces in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas to help children recover from their experience. "The Child-Friendly Spaces provide children with a safe and supervised place to play, share their experience and learn in an informal environment. With so many schools damaged or destroyed the spaces are a critical part of children's wellbeing until they are able to return to school," says Sian Platt, World Vision Child Protection Specialist.
|© 2008 World Vision||China Earthquake—May 2008|
» An 8.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Sichuan province, leaving more than 88,000 people dead or missing, and millions more homeless. After the devastating earthquake crumbled thousands of buildings, especially schools, World Vision opened Child-Friendly Spaces, giving children an opportunity to participate in games and education. Zhang Limin, a third grade student, says, “When we play, we just forget about the earthquake.”
|© 2008 World Vision||Cyclone Nargis, Myanmar—May 2008|
» One of the worst natural disasters since the 2004 Tsunami, Cyclone Nargis left more than 130,000 people dead and affected 2.5 million others. In the midst of the storm’s aftermath, children play at one of the Child-Friendly Spaces set up by World Vision in Myanmar. An estimated 1 million of those displaced by the cyclone were children. World Vision provided 80 of these safe havens for affected children, many of whom were orphaned by the storm.
© 2007 Amio Ascension/World Vision ||Cyclone Sidr, Bangladesh—December 2007 » A massive storm leaves 2 million in need of assistance. World Vision opened this Child-Friendly Space for children devastated by Cyclone Sidr. Badsha, 10, was outside in the storm when the iron roof of a nearby home fell in front of him. "I thought it fell on me," he exclaimed. Since enrolling in this Child-Friendly Space, Badsha has been able to participate in sports and games, counseling, cultural events, education, and health care.|
© 2007 Mohamad Almahady/World Vision
|South Darfur—August 2007 » Conflict drives millions from their homes. |
At this camp for internally displaced people, Child-Friendly Spaces are giving children like Bashira, 5, the chance to play, learn, and receive psychosocial support. Her mother says, "My husband and I are doing our best to educate our children in spite of the difficulties that face us, but with the assistance of World Vision we can pass this obstacle."
|© 2006 Kevin Cook/World Vision||Lebanon War—July 2006 » Fighting between Israel and Hezbollah displaces more than 1 million. Children eagerly volunteer to participate in the next activity at a Child-Friendly Space established in Beirut for children who fled fighting in the south. “I have never seen my children so happy since the war broke out. I can barely recognize them with their smiling faces,” said Fatima, a displaced mother.|
|© 2006 Ruth Hudson/World Vision||Indonesia Quake—May 2006 » A 6.3-magnitude quake in central Java renders 650,000 homeless. Children in Kebom village dance and sing to celebrate the opening of the first World Vision Child-Friendly Space opened in response to the disaster. “I like the singing best,” said Pungki Retno, 8, shouting above the joyful cacaphony. |
|© 2005 Jon Warren/World Vision||Asian Tsunami—December 2004 » One of the deadliest natural disasters of modern history kills more than 200,000, chiefly in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. Idawati, 5, is comforted at the World Vision Child-Friendly Space in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. When she first arrived at the Child-Friendly Space, Idawati, who was orphaned by the tsunami, was withdrawn, confused, and aggressive. But over time, she began to participate. “We almost cannot see the tragedy they’ve lived through,” facilitator Safriati said of the children.|