Saturday, February 13, 2010

Child-Friendly Spaces

This week we finally started and opened our child-friendly spaces. Thursday was very exciting and chaotic, with lots of accomplishments and lessons learned. Early in the morning, the entire camp was wet and muddy since it had rained the night before. Many people I spoke with were upset and worried about how the rains would affect their living situation and environment. In addition to that, there were few children that actually showed up at 9 a.m.

So we started raising more awareness, and by 10 we were ready to start with a small group of children. It didn’t take long before we were inundated with parents wanting to enroll their kids. We actually had to turn away many cute 3- and 4-year-olds that wanted to join in activities but were just too young to participate and not yet ready to be separated from their parents.

The sun came out in the late morning and it got hot inside most of the tents that the children were using. Nonetheless, they danced, sang, did a few informal educational activities, drew pictures, and then finally went out to play. Play time became quickly overwhelming, since there is very little open space and all of the kids got very excited about the balls and jump ropes.

It was challenging to keep all the little children organized, but they all had fun and the community sat around watching and enjoying the activities from afar. However, after play time the kids became very thirsty and hungry. We had difficulty feeding all the children, but they seemed content with the small crackers and water we were able to give to them until we have a more formal system in place for providing full meals.

After the day was over, when all the Animators sat down and reviewed their progress, they said the families and children were all very happy and that the day had been a great success.

1 comment:

  1. You will help them find their way, Leora. Along with the other amazing volunteers.