What is a Child Friendly Space?
SOS Child Friendly Spaces are a central pillar of our emergency response work to help protect vulnerable children and their families during emergency situations. These safe spaces for children are a place where they are protected from harm and are able to have nutritious meals and safe drinking water, health services, counselling, and can continue learning.
Children have the chance to express their feelings through arts and crafts as a method of communicating their trauma. SOS staff working at our Child Friendly Spaces have experience dealing with trauma.
When is an SOS Child Friendly Space used?
When a disaster strikes near an SOS Children’s Village, our emergency response team will monitor the situation and evaluate the needs of children in the area. Our Chid Friendly Spaces have been used for immediate and short-term relief in a range of humanitarian emergencies such as the Nepal earthquake, the European refugee crisis, Typhoon Haiyan, and the 2011 East Africa drought.
Who benefits from Child Friendly Spaces?
SOS Child Friendly Spaces do not just benefit children. These critical spaces also serve as a safe childcare method for parents. Knowing that their children are safe in an SOS Child Friendly Space, parents have the time to work on pressing matters, such as finding food and water, relocating relatives and friends, re-establishing their livelihoods, and assisting their community in recovering.
Beneficiaries and SOS staff members have reported improvements in the levels of stress, trauma, and fear among the children and parents who use the Child Friendly Spaces.