28 Apr 2015

World Vision - Opening Child-Friendly Spaces in Duhok Camps

“We are all looking forward on the children’s activities to start soon”, says 30-year old Seiton Sulayman with a grin. All of the women cooking with her in Bersive 1 Camp momentarily stopped to express their excitement. Few steps from them and their playing children was the 4-room child-friendly space (CFS) that World Vision is building through the assistance of the Germany Relief Coalition Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH).

The approximately 800sqm space is also equipped with the teachers’ office, shaded area for activities, a kitchen and toilets. A guard house and emergency smoke detector were included for the children’s safety. According to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist Michael Wicker, the CFS activities are planned in two shifts with at least 150 children per shift. Hiring of 12 teachers for the two CFS has been completed and training is ongoing.

Hadi, 35, was among the internally-displaced people (IDP) hired for the construction of the CFS. His two young children will eventually be participating in the activities making him value the project. He says, “People have been asking us when will the school open. This will be a big help for the children who have nothing to do in the camp. They can use their time learning.” The buildings have been fitted with water tanks and smoke detection facility to ensure the children’s safety.

World Vision is building two CFS’s in Bersive 1 and 2 camps located outside of Zakho town in Duhok Governorate in northern Iraq. Operations Manager Fadli Usman was delighted of the speedy progress and good quality of the construction work and envisions to extend it in other camps as funding allows. Usman says, “I am as excited as the mothers on this project.”

World Vision’s “Let Us Learn” Project, an emergency education and protection initiative for the displaced children in the camp and non-camps in Duhok Governorate in partnership with Public Aid Organization (PAP), aims to assist in the learning continuity, psychosocial well-being and increased resilience of children in both settings.

Report state that an estimated 47,300 internally-displaced persons (IDPs) are children under 5-years and 274,000 are under 18 years in Iraq Kurdistan alone. It further states that the education needs of these children are the most under-addressed. The WVI CFS represent an opportunity to support children healing and nurture their capability to overcome the shock of the displacement and restore stable and supportive relations with their peers, within the family and the community at large.
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