Large Scale Programming
After a Playing to Live! pilot program has been implemented with a community partner, a full scale program is our next step. When Playing to Live creates a full large scale program, we want to have an in depth understanding of the community, their needs, their strengths, their resources, and their culture. With the guidance of our community partner and key stakeholders, we ask the community to help us build the customized program. We ask to be involved in focus groups, community meetings, and utilize research and our measures and evaluations (M&E) team to create a needs, resource, and cultural assessment. We use the pilot program, the community, and best practices from research to guide us in building a unique and effective program. During implementation we work in real time with the program facilitators, supervisors, partner, and key stakeholder to build continual skills training and activities to follow the developing program. Our M&E team will follow the programming for quality control and development.
In 2015, the Liberian Playing to Live! community-based pilot was expanded to a full-scale project, funded by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and in partnership with RESH and support by the Liberian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Gender Development. This work targeted 40 former hot-zone communities, providing programming, including expressive activities and supportive talks, to over 850 children and 140 adults affected by EVD. Target participants were children between the ages of 3 – 13 years old affected by EVD and residing in 40 former hot-zone communities in Liberia during the study time frame of 2014-2015. Secondary participants included in the evaluation included parents/caregivers of child participants and program implementers.
Research conducted found individual child participants displayed a decrease in psychological stress symptoms by 14.5% after 3 months and by 37.6% in 5 months of programming. A difference of 23% rise in resiliency was identified between the two treatment groups; these results suggest that longer exposure to the play and supportive arts intervention resulted in a reduction in PSS (Hanson, 2015).