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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Columbia Reveals Long-Term Benefits of Emergency Safe Spaces for Children

Spaces built to keep children safe after an emergency or conflict can also help them recover from trauma, according to a latest study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and World Vision, with the support of UNICEF. The research project is a three-year initiative for gathering and building evidence about the practice and implementation of Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) and other psychosocial programming in emergencies. The research measured the impact of CFS on Congolese children who have fled fighting and sought refuge in western Uganda. The study reveals that the spaces were widely used; 73 percent of children in the Rwamwanja camp attended them at some stage. The spaces provide young people with a safe place to play, participate in activities, learn about their rights to health and protection, and experience healing from any trauma they have experienced. They also allow children to return to healthy routines and experience a sense of normalcy again.