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Photo essay: UNICEF Child Friendly Spaces give Yemeni children hope for a brighter future

Lamia and Samia are close friends, they always keep smiling and play together at the Child Friendly Space of Crater district, in Aden Governorate, in the South of Yemen, supported by UNICEF and the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade..

By Ali Qasem Ali, Communication Officer, UNICEF Aden Field Office
Photography: Abdullah Saleh

Aden, Yemen, 12 November 2018 – Despite the increase in violence due to the conflict in Yemen and its devastating impact on children’s lives, UNICEF is responding to meet the urgent needs of children, including access to water, health and education services, protecting their rights and helping them to overcome the dire situation in their country.

One of UNICEF’s approaches to support the children of Yemen is the Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs), which play an instrumental role in giving those children the opportunity to heal the scars of the war, giving them a chance to express themselves freely and to practice their hobbies in a safe and secure environment.

A group of girls helping raising awareness of the children in their community on the harmful effects of drugs, which was one of the topics of the sensitization sessions carried out at the CFS.

Four children enjoying their time in one of the UNICEF-supported CFSs. Here, they can begin to heal and smile in a safe place.

Children watching an entertaining program with the social workers of the Child Friendly Space who organize psychosocial activities and support the children with protection assistance.

Lamia, 12 years old, practicing jump rope. “It is my favorite game. I feel safe here and I am so happy I can come to play and stay with my friends, thanks to everyone.”

Two children playing chess “their favorite game” at the Child Friendly Space of Crater, Aden.

UNICEF and its implementing partners provide Psychosocial Support (PSS) to conflict-affected children to help them in coping with the impact of the conflict. PSS activities support the identification of children in need of assistance by referring them to appropriate services through trained social workers on case management, who are linked to the national case management and social work system.

With the generous support of Australia, at least 33 community volunteers and social workers, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour of Yemen, were trained and equipped with information and skills on how to run the CFSs, PSS, case management, Gender-Based Violence and how to identify and refer the vulnerable children to the appropriate services in a timely manner. Since the beginning of the year, more than 460,000 children and caregivers in conflict-affected areas have been receiving psychosocial support.



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