UNICEF Opens Child Friendly Spaces in Yiliang Quake Zone
BEIJING, 18 October 2012 – In the aftermath of the September 2012 earthquake that struck Yiliang County, Yunnan Province, UNICEF has sent four shipments of supplies and, with the National Working Committee on Children and Women（NWCCW）and the Yunnan Working Committee on Children and Women, established three Child Friendly Spaces to support the long-term recovery and well-being of earthquake-affected children.
The four shipments contained blankets, quilts, tents, hygiene kits, toys. These materials have gone to schools and to the Child Friendly Spaces.
“Emergency-affected children need to have a safe and fun place to spend their time after school, during weekends and long school holidays in the aftermath of the earthquake and following landslides,” said Yang Haiyu, a UNICEF China Child Protection Specialist. Mr Yang made a joint field assessment trip with NWCCW to the Yiliang area soon after the earthquake to identify suitable sites for the establishment of Child Friendly Spaces. “Child Friendly Spaces can meet the needs of children in the earthquake zone and provide children a safe space to study and play, as our experiences in Wenchuan and Yushu Earthquake relief and reconstruction proved.”
As Yiliang is primarily a mountainous county, the earthquake and the rainy weather have already caused secondary disasters. On October 4, a landslide, triggered by continuing rains, killed 18 schoolchildren and one adult.“UNICEF and its partners have identified three sites in which to establish Child Friendly Spaces and provide community-based services.” said Yang Haiyu.
As of October 7, Child Friendly Spaces have begun normal operations and service delivery. To support the provision of psychosocial and other community-based services, volunteers from the Child Friendly Spaces set up by UNICEF in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake zone have come to Yiliang to help train local staff. “We believe that this timing technical support initiative will help deliver the first rounds of needed psychosocial support services to children in Yiliang” said Yang Haiyu.
The Child Friendly Spaces set up in Yiliang are based on the model established following the Wenchuan earthquake. The original Child Friendly Spaces set up in 2008 have helped over 300,000 children and parents to recover from the disaster.
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