War Child developing new play methods in Eastern Africa
Dec. 10, 2019
War Child is helping to develop new methods of learning through play for children affected by armed violence in East Africa. There are as many as three million refugees in the region, often spending a decade or more of their lives away from their homes, which means a generation of children is deprived of education and a childhood.
War Child is taking part in a new PlayMatters partnership, led by the International Rescue Committee and financed by a LEGO Foundation grant. Together we aim to reach 800,000 pre-primary and primary school refugee children and their caregivers in Ethiopia and Uganda, as well as 10,000 preschool and primary school teachers.
War Child and its partners will be developing methods to provide emotional, social, cognitive, creative and physical skills to children affected by violence and displacement. This can prevent adverse experiences shaping children’s behaviour, health and lives. We will focus on researching how learning through play can be effectively deployed into crisis settings to help improve learning outcomes of children.
“Millions of children worldwide are forced to live with the effects of war - effects including disrupted education, depression, anxiety and neglect,” says professor Mark Jordans, who is leading War Child’s research efforts. “Every War Child programme has the ultimate goal of boosting the well-being and resilience of conflict-affected children - and our scientific research plays a vital role in ensuring our efforts are effective.”
War Child’s efforts involve the creation of an integrated care and support system across all levels of a child’s life. This system will see the development of scientifically-tested and evidence-based methods and tools to guarantee the highest quality standards. These efforts are designed to ensure the provision and increased scale of quality care and support to conflict-affected children around the world - both by ourselves and through our network of partner organisations.
Photo credits: International Rescue Committee