Bianca Umali stresses the importance of play in child development
“Noong nakaraang taon, nagpunta ako kasama ng World Vision sa Marawi matapos ang trahedya dun. Nakita at nalaman namin kung gaano kahirap at katindi ang nangyaring hirap sa mga bata at sa mga babae dun,” Umali shared.
Umali mentioned helping children through World Vision’s child-friendly space (CFS), which provides young people with a safe place to play, participate in activities, learn about their rights to health and protection, and experience healing from trauma they’ve experienced. CFS also allows children to return to healthy routines and experience a sense of normalcy again.
“Lahat ng bata dinala namin sa child-friendly space…nakipaglaro kami sa kanila dahil habang naglalaro sila nakakalimutan nila ang takot, nakakalimutan nila ang trauma nila. Kaya malaking bagay ang paglalaro sa mga bata,” she said.
Child-friendly spaces are currently part of World Vision’s ongoing emergency response in Northern Cotabato, including the city of Kidapawan and the hard-hit towns of Makilala and Tulunan that were recently hit by series of earthquakes in the latter part of October.
[To learn more about what World Vision is doing in earthquake-affected Mindanao, click here]
A 2018 UNICEF document entitled “Learning through Play”, states that “through play, children learn to forge connections with others, and to share, negotiate and resolve conflicts, as well as learn self-advocacy skills. Play also teaches children leadership as well as group skills. Furthermore, play is a natural tool that children can use to build their resilience and coping skills, as they learn to navigate relationships and deal with social challenges as well as conquer their fears…”
The National Children’s Month commemorates the 30th anniversary of Philippine’s adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty that promotes and protects children’s rights to survival, development, protection, and participation.
This year also marks the 27th year of the National Children’s Month, an annual celebration that reminds every Filipino on children’s welfare and contribution in society. The Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Youth Commission and Council for the Welfare of Children as the lead agencies in the implementation of NCM.
This year’s celebration anchored on the theme “Karapatang Pambata: Patuloy na Pahalagana at Gampanan Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan.”
For four weeks, there will be nationwide pockets of events focusing on issues affecting children such as the first 1000 days and child survival, child and adolescent mental health, inclusive education, online/digital behavior of children, children in governance, children in situations of armed conflict, positive parenting, child labor, and children in conflict with the law.