UNICEF Opens Child Friendly Spaces in Yushu Quake Zone
BEIJING, July 14 2010 – In the aftermath of the April 2010 earthquake that struck Qinghai Province's Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, UNICEF and the National Working Committee on Children and Women (NWCCW) have combined to establish four Child Friendly Spaces to support the long-term recovery and wellbeing of earthquake-affected children and women.
Thousands of earthquake-affected children across Jiegu Town, the epicentre of the earthquake, have already accessed services at the Child Friendly Spaces, which have been set up in the south, west and centre of town. The Child Friendly Spaces are providing earthquake-affected children with a complete package of community-based services, including psychosocial support, social work and structured play and recreation activities.
UNICEF and NWCCW have provided each of the Child Friendly Spaces with tents and equipped them with books, arts and crafts materials, sports equipment and early childhood development toys. Additional supplies, including Tibetan language books, music instruments and toys and games for use in psychosocial support activities, will continue to arrive at the Child Friendly Spaces in the coming weeks.
According to Xi Xiaoling, the Chairwoman of the Yushu Prefecture All-China Women's Federation, "In the months since the terrible earthquake, residential tents were set up so children and their families could have safe places to sleep at night, and prefabricated classrooms were set up so children could return to school. Now, with the Child Friendly Spaces, children in Jiegu Town will also have a safe space in which they can interact with other children and together recover from the psychological distress of the earthquake."
On 8 July 2010, UNICEF held a training workshop for the staff, volunteers and managers of the four Child Friendly Spaces in Xining, the Qinghai provincial capital. Also participating at the workshop were social workers, psychologists and education specialists from Qinghai Normal University. These local experts were joined by national-level experts who have worked with UNICEF over the course of the last two years in setting up Child Friendly Spaces in Sichuan Province, where a devastating earthquake struck in May 2008.
To date, the 40 Child Friendly Spaces set up in Sichuan have provided services to more than 100,000 children. As UNICEF and its partners continue to develop services at the four new Child Friendly Spaces in Jiegu Town, many more children will benefit.
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.
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