5-day CFS help children adjust after Malabon fire
By Ma. Lisbet K. Esmael, World Vision Communications Intern
It only took less than 12 hours to make the dreams of children in Malabon vanish, dreams fading with the burning houses and smoke due to a huge fire last February 8. To rebuild the confidence and hope of the young survivors, World Vision’s executed a 5-day Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) program.
“These kids are not expressive in words, but since the CFS program started, we can see their happiness. Maybe they can’t communicate it through words, but their actions and the way they participated in every activity tell us that they are on their way to recovery,” explained Florinor Algo, Luzon Child Protection and Participation Specialist of World Vision.
“With this simple act of World Vision, we gave them opportunities to cope up with their traumatic experience by giving them a venue to play and wind down,” she continued.
Indeed, for every single day since the program started, young survivors packed and waited for the arrival of World Vision staff. Once they arrived, these children shouted with joy and let their friends know that the best part of the day would soon begin.
With the goal to help them move on, the children were provided with a lot of activities and games to do.
Althea, 9, whose restroom was the only part of the house spared by the fire, was thankful for World Vision. “Whenever I attended this program, my thoughts about the fire were diverted and changed to happy memories. I enjoyed drawing because I could freely express and write whatever I want.”
Just like Althea, Leslie, 9, was also delighted in the CFS activities. She specifically loved the activity where they were taught how to read the Bible and the moments where she witnessed everyone having a good time. “I love it when I laugh with my friends and see that other children were also enjoying their respective activities per group. We were really there to just laugh and to share good memories with each other.”
Althea and Leslie mirrored the blissful emotions and prayers of every child in CFS – the happiness, peace, and gratitude felt, and the desire to have a safe place for their families.
At the end of the CFS program, the last activity the children had to do was to fly a paper plane, sealing them with their silent wishes and prayers.World Vision/February 23, 2017