“Let me be clear: people in South Sudan are not just fleeing their homes because they need food, shelter or medical care and school for their children. They are fleeing [because they] fear for their lives,” Mr. O’Brien told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.
“We must protect them, and we must save their lives,” he stressed. UN.org
As I prepare to fly out to Uganda today, this quote rings in my head. At Playing to Live! we seek to protect children and families through building skills to combat the effects of the trauma, and in this case, trauma due to violence and displacement. Within refugee camps families ideally have received their basic shelter and food needs, but the short term and long term interpersonal, social, and psychological effects of trauma prevail.
I have scheduled meetings within a large refugee camp in Uganda to speak to organizations on how we can begin to address the psychological needs of children and families as they live within the camp. Our mission at Playing to Live believes that all communities have the resources to heal from trauma and our role is to teach skills to empower these resources.
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We will be providing you with stories of the communities we support. The children and their caregivers featured in this blog have provided consent to share their art, pictures and stories.