Safe Parks is a program that is free and open to all children in the community and addresses some of the challenges (both mental and physical) faced by children living in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. This program provides the children with an opportunity for safe play and psychosocial support in an environment that facilitates activities, discussions, and educational lessons. Homework help is also provided to children who need it.
A Typical Day at Safe Parks
The children begin the day by singing and dancing, an ice-breaker activity that helps the children interact with friends and make new ones. This ice-breaker is especially important for first time participants in the program. The trained CYCWs (Child and Youth Care Workers) assess individual needs as the children sing, dance and interact. The children are then separated into different groups based on age. Each group, supervised by a trained child and youth care worker, participates in age appropriate activities/discussions.
During these sessions, child care workers discuss diverse issues important to the children, for example, overall health, HIV prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, cleanliness/hygiene, and the importance of adherence to medication and staying in school. In addition, homework help is provided to children who need it. Some children bring their books to Safe Park so that they can complete schoolwork with their peers and with our child care workers. Finally, a snack is provided - many children come to Safe Park without a meal.
A few older children who have graduated from high school have been mentoring the younger children by sharing their experiences, and helping with school work. We hope to make the mentoring component a permanent feature of this program.
At this time we are raising funds to rent a bigger play area, and to provide a nutritious snack for the children every week. Please donate generously, as every little bit counts and goes a long way in helping these children play and learn in a safe environment.
Thank you for your support.