The Government of Croatia funds the rehabilitation of inclusive playgrounds for children with disabilities
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Beirut, 17 March 2023 – Today, the Ambassador of Croatia visited one of the three community playgrounds which will be rehabilitated in Tyre, Bekaa and Akkar governorates with the financial support of the Croatian government. The project aims to promote a safe, inclusive, and positive environment, particularly for children with disabilities, so that all children can learn and play together in an inclusive setting.
The inclusive playgrounds will allow children to feel included, nurtured, encouraged, respected, and active during play, both at a physical and social level, thereby contributing to a sense of community among all children and strengthening social cohesion. Increasing positive contact between children with and without disabilities will also contribute significantly to destigmatizing disabilities.
“The war experience in Croatia, some thirty years ago, and particularly its dislocating effect on children and their parents made Croatian society so much more sensitive to the plight of the young, all those who are facing challenges and all those who must live with congenital or inflicted impairment. We understand how modest our contribution is compared to the glaring needs but remember that every drop raises the level of the ocean and may the love and compassion with which this “drop” is given, help raise the level of the ocean of human goodness and inspire others to contribute and make the lives of our less privileged members filled and more meaningful. And a word of praise for the terrific work done by UNICEF and their dedicated people, without whom many most worthy projects would not be possible.” said H.E Mr. Tomislav Bošnjak, Croatian Ambassador.
“Children with disabilities and their families experience multiple barriers to be included in the society. Creating inclusive playgrounds will serve as a gateway for all children in Lebanon to learn and play together in a welcoming and engaging space,” said Ettie Higgins, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Lebanon. “Like all children, children with disabilities have the right to play and learn so they can thrive and achieve their full potential.”
The playgrounds will consider accessibility for different types of disabilities, including visual, hearing, physical, and intellectual impairment, starting with ensuring an accessible entrance to the equipment of the playgrounds. As for the rehabilitation works, all playgrounds will feature some inclusive-design components such as swings or bean bags, trampoline, slides, or sandbox. Additionally, the playgrounds will endorse safety guidelines and physically accessible features such as visual cues/signs, tiling to support children with physical disability, Braille signage around the playground, ramps for access, tiling around various equipment to be accessible by a child on a wheelchair and accessibility rehabilitation of existing toilets.
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/lebanon/.
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