Philippines: DSWD ensures child-friendly spaces in evacuation centers
To prioritize the safety and welfare of children during disasters, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in coordination with local government units (LGUs), ensured the setting up of child-friendly spaces in evacuation centers in all regions affected by the ‘Habagat’.
“Because of the high vulnerability of children during disasters and calamities, child-friendly spaces are established to promote their resiliency against the negative effects of emergency situations to the well-being of children,” explained DSWD Secretary Virginia “Gee” N. Orogo.
The establishment of child and women-friendly spaces is in accordance to Republic Act. No. 10821 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act which seeks to protect children, nursing mothers and pregnant women before, during, and after disasters, calamities or any emergency situation.
Child-friendly spaces offer activities such as psychosocial counseling, games, educational activities, art therapy sessions, and supplementary feeding, among others.
“We are doing our best to implement strong measures to deliver the basic needs of children and to protect and promote their rights even during the period of calamities. We are positive that after all of this massive displacement due to the flood and inclement weather, the children will be able to return to their normal lives without any trace of sadness or anxiety from being away from their homes for too long,” ended the Secretary.