World Vision sets up child-friendly space in Itogon, Benguet

For 8-year old John Paul, the child-friendly space is his happy place.

“Both my parents are not here because they are working. It’s only me and my sister and she is mostly out to get relief goods,” he shares.

John Paul is one of the 2 million people affected by typhoon Ompong that hit Northern Luzon last September 15. They had to evacuate for safety. His town in Itogon, Beguet has recorded the highest number of death tolls due to landslides.

“I’ve seen houses destroyed and I heard that many people died. I was afraid. Here (CFS), I feel happy,” he adds.

World Vision set up its first child-friendly space in Benguet on September 22 to provide psychosocial support for children who were distressed by Ompong. At least 40 children would troop the space to play, draw, sing and listen to stories.

Another child who frequents the child-friendly space is 4-year old Vic.

“I love it here!” he usually exclaims. He loves doing the alphabet blocks, saying that he wants to be able to read and write soon.

“It is necessary that children have this kind of space during emergencies to cater to the children’s psychosocial well-being. This goes alongside our intervention to help provide for their family’s immediate needs for emergency supplies,” explains Carlo Cajipo, World Vision child-friendly space facilitator.

World Vision will set up another space in Itogon to cater to the children who already went back to their homes. World Vision is also working alongside different government agencies like Department of Education, Department of Health and Social Welfare Department to help build the capacity of teachers in providing psychosocial first aid to their students.

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