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  • Writer's pictureDearbhla

Child-Friendly Spaces: Fun and Laughter at Ritsona Refugee Camp

The pounding of little feet across the wooden gangplank and high-pitched squeals of delight signal their arrival. Greeted by wide, toothy grins and bright, expressive eyes as they run over to line up for the skipping rope, which smacks the ground at every jump, kicking dust up into the air. The younger children grab pieces of Jenga and animal puzzles with small, chubby hands across the tables, and prod the pieces forcibly into place.

Many of these children had never before been to a play group. Their primary experiences being the onslaught of war, and forced displacement, where playtime is an unfamiliar concept. The Child Friendly Space run by Lighthouse Relief is the only one of its kind at Ritsona Refugee camp.

Children make up 37% of the refugees arriving into Greece and are often overlooked when it comes to humanitarian aid. Lighthouse Relief staff and volunteers at the Child Friendly Space work on the psychosocial needs of the children. This safe space is an overwhelmingly positive part of children’s lives. For them,it is a place where children can come and learn, play, and gain a sense of normality in an otherwise chaotic environment. Click here to read more on Lighthouse Relief's Medium page.


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