The Power of Play-Based Learning for Refugee Children

World Refugee Day is a significant international day that celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries due to conflict or persecution. 

Refugee children are often exposed to traumatic experiences and toxic stress, which can have detrimental effects on their social and emotional development. Play-based learning has proven to be an effective tool in helping these children overcome their challenges and build resilience. Through play, children can express their emotions, develop problem-solving skills, and learn to interact with others in a positive and meaningful way.

Nurturing educators, positive parenting and child protection play a crucial role in play-based learning. By providing a safe and stimulating environment, parents and caregivers can support children in their exploration and help them develop important life skills such as creativity, imagination, and critical thinking, which are essential for children to learn and grow. 

This World Refugee Day, we are reiterating our commitment to supporting refugee families in Botswana through our Playgroup at the Dukwi Refugee Camp. We’re currently supporting over 40 refugee children in the camp with free access to quality early childhood education and a nourishing snack on a daily basis. Our programme incorporates mindful play, with specific training to our refugee Mamapreneurs in the camp on how to facilitate mindfulness for young children, allowing children to develop self-regulation skills, and improve their emotional well-being. One of the core elements of our mindful play curriculum is breathing exercises and yoga for children where they learn to connect their minds and bodies, promoting relaxation and strengthening. This practice helps them cope with stress and anxiety, allowing them to focus on their learning and development.

Our playgroup plays a significant role in providing a supportive environment for refugee children in Dukwi by offering opportunities for children from various African countries and backgrounds to interact with each other, develop social skills, and learn from each other despite language and cultural differences. In addition, we’ve found that the playgroup serves as a platform for parents and caregivers to connect, share experiences, and receive support.

It was through this parent community that we introduced The Parent Playbox, in partnership with Kids Collab, with the ambition to further enhance the benefits of play-based learning for refugee families. The Parent Playbox is a collection of activity cards and resources that parents used at home to engage with their children through play. These playboxes not only promote bonding between parents and children but also empower parents to actively participate in their child’s learning and development. One of the highlight’s of our year, was when a father commented on how just by engaging in playbox activities, he “grew love” with his child! 

We all have a responsibility to support and advocate for the rights and wellbeing of refugee children in our community, and globally. By investing in their education, development, and mental health, we can help them build a brighter future and contribute positively to their host communities. Let us come together on World Refugee Day to ensure that every child, regardless of their background or circumstances, has the opportunity to play, learn and thrive. 

No Comments

Post A Comment