UNICEF supported child-friendly spaces help children return to normalcy in Obrenovac
OBRENOVAC, Serbia, 14 July 2014 - The six-member Sainovic family from Obrenovac is one of the many families living in collective centres in Serbia. In May this year the floods destroyed their modest home and everything in it; including the furniture, household items and children’s toys.
These children, like many in Obrenovac, live in the army barracks, where one room is often occupied by a dozen adults. Like in all emergency situations, children are the most vulnerable. That is why it is essential to have activities organised for them that will purposefully fill their time and give children a sense of stability. Crucially, child-friendly spaces provide children with the opportunity to overcome their problems, as they receive psychosocial support. In these army barracks, like in other collective centres, UNICEF has set-up child-friendly spaces where children spend time with their peers and where they receive psychosocial support.
Child-friendly spaces are intended for more than just recreational activities. The whole concept has been developed to provide children with a place where they can lead normal lives, regain their confidence and where they are encouraged to socialize, to spend time together, to play and be children again, especially after this traumatic experience. UNICEF will continue to support the psychosocial and recreational activities throughout the summer for all children who are still unable to return to their homes.