Transforming minds of Refugee children

“When the bullets were shot I couldn’t hold my peace for so long, I got confused and separated from my parents during flight.” Japheth Reponse an unaccompanied minor who never misses the play therapy sessions facilitated by the CAFOMI early childhood development facilitators (ECD) at Nyakabande Transit Center narrated.

With funding from Hilton foundation, CAFOMI is working to improve access to Early Childhood Development through training pre-primary care givers in respective ECD centers and providing learning materials to aid learning for children.

Other activities implemented include livelihood training, empowering youth to champion development, peace building and coexistence, addressing the challenges girls face and at the same time empower them to be able to stand up for themselves.

With a relatively high prevalence of malnutrition among children in Kisoro district, CAFOMI through Hilton foundation has also been able to facilitate a series of trainings to enlighten Village Health Teams on malnutrition eradication and prevention. This has been successfully done in six sub counties namely Nyakabande, Busanza, Bunagana, Nyarubuye, Mulamba and Nkuringo.

At the transit, CAFOMI is engaging refugee children in Child friendly space indoor and outdoor games. Lydia Nyirambonimpa, an ECD facilitator working with CAFOMI at Nyakabande TC underscores that they engage children between the ages of 3-17 years every day to make their minds active, relieve them from stress and also help them learn how to interact with other children in the community.

“I love children because they are groom able and they have a mentality of doing what one wants.” Nyirambonimpa further expressed.

It’s during play therapy that children with specific needs are identified for mental health and psychosocial support, child protection and community based protection. ECD facilitators indulge the youngsters in reciting riddles, dancing, storytelling, toy assembling, drawing and painting.

The play area also acts as a safe space for children, giving their parents an assurance of wellbeing while at the transit center. “I always feel at peace when my children attend the play therapy sessions because I know they are in safe hands and besides I have also noticed that my children can now freely interact with their friends.” 35 year old Twizere Mawombi a single mother and widow elaborated.

The ECD facilitators expressed challenges they face while doing their work, key among these include, absence of a play area in the Transit center, lack of learning materials , lack of clothes and soap to support some of the children who come unaccompanied and yet in dire need.

For any kind of support kindly reach out to info@cafomi.org your kindness will be highly appreciated.

Author is Communications/ Admin Assistant at CAFOMI

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *