We have recently been asked to join into a partnership with the charity World Faith Gambia to help support refugee children at the Mango Tree Nursery School. In the coming weeks we will be visiting the Mango Tree Nursery School, World Faith Gambia and the Jiboro Village Development Committee to discuss how we can support the centre.
In recent years the Mango Tree Nursery School has struggled to accommodate the increasing number of children fleeing conflict in neighbouring Senegal. There are currently 69 refugee children enrolled at the centre, along with 75 local students, but there are just two classrooms, one broken water pump and 52 new children on the waiting list to attend.
We hope to work with World Faith Gambia and the Mango Tree Nursery School in a capacity building partnership project to train local staff in delivering a play-based early years’ curriculum, and to help raise money to provide additional classrooms, teaching support, learning resources and play equipment.
We are currently looking for a Project Coordinator, Assistant Project Coordinator and teaching assistants for this project, starting in early September 2017. Please contact us to find out more.
Dunkirk Children’s Centre was the first centre set up and run by the Founder of the charity, along with a small group of independent volunteers, and provided the catalyst for the creation of Refugee Children’s Centres.
The refugee camp in Grande-Synthe had been opened in early in March 2016 to provide temporary accommodation for around 2500 refugees who had been living in shocking conditions on a nearby boggy wasteland in Basroch.
It had been set up by the medical aid charity Medicins Sans Frontieres and the local authority of Grande-Synthe, under the leadership of the mayor, Damien Careme, who could no longer bear to see people living in such terrible conditions. Built to UNHCR standards, it was the first internationally recognised refugee camp in France.
The vast majority of residents were from the autonomous Kurdish region of Northern Iraq which has suffered greatly under the advance of ISIS/Daesh, but there were also a number of families from other countries such as Iran and Afghanistan.
In the first weeks of the new camp opening, the volunteers set up a small play area in a tent to give the children a safe space to play out of the cold. Over time the play space grew; by the end of April they had moved into a purpose built room, donated and built by the Hummingbird Charity and Brighton Shelter Build, and by August they were running two buildings and providing a program of activities for up to 60 children per day. Volunteers came from all over the world to share their knowledge expertise and love.
Refugee Children’s Centres is working alongside Lifting Hands International (LHI) to help support a small community of Yazidi refugees living in Greece. Operating from two tents on a plot of land adjacent to the camp, the LHI Community Centre is a ‘buzzing hive of education and healing’, offering a broad programme of non-formal education, recreation activities and psychosocial support.
The residents, mainly from Sinjar in Iraq, are a particularly vulnerable community in need of support. In 2015 ISIS committed genocide and multiple crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Yazidis, thousands of whom were held captive and subjected to unimaginable horrors. An entire community, tens of thousands of people, became refugees as ISIS drove them from their homelands. Many Yazidis were granted asylum in Germany and most of the families in this camp are awaiting family reunification.
Housed in mobile accommodation units in a military operated refugee camp, the living conditions are stable. However, due to changes in EU funding, the NGO previously providing vital psychosocial support and non-formal education for the children withdrew from the camp at the end of the summer and has yet to be replaced. There are currently 145 children living in the camp with a desperate need to access to education, recreation and psychosocial support.
We are currently raising funds to buy a Children’s Tent and resources for this project, including toys and games, sports equipment and materials for arts and recreational activities. Click here to help us with this project!
We are accepting applications for Children’s Activities Coordinators for this project throughout the year. The Coordinators are responsible for planning and delivering a broad programme of Early Years, non-formal education and recreation activities. We are particularly keen to hear from Early Years professionals, teachers, psychologists, play/art therapists, occupational therapists for the Project Coordinator role. A basic level of German/Arabic/Kurmanji would be an advantage. Volunteers should ideally commit to a minimum of 1 month and have experience working with vulnerable children.
Please contact us to find out more.
We work closely with other organisations to ensure we are offering the most effective, joined up service.