By Wezi Nungu, Zonal Communications Officer
Play is good and healthy for children. It helps build their imagination and creativity, promotes emotional and behavioural benefits, improves literacy, promotes physical fitness and it gives children a chance to just be children.
That is why Children’s Corners (CC) are important because they give children a safe space to play, relax, have fun and socialize.
Abigail Joseph is 15 years old and in Grade 7 at Tafika Primary School, and she says coming to the Children’s Corner has helped build her character. She learned to respect her parents to be helpful at home.
“I love it here, they teach us good morals. I love dancing beni at Children’s Corner. I also love the play time. I want to be educated and become a nurse one day. I saw a nurse back home; I want to be like her.” – Abigail (15).
Tsanya CC in Blantyre, uses a church as their temporary premises. “The church volunteered their building for us to use, twice a week, for our activities. We use the open space when it is not raining, and during the wet season, we use the structures,” explains Evelyn Kalipinde, a volunteer at the corner.
Evelyn, together with three other colleagues, work with 81 children on Mondays and Fridays. They start at 2 pm after school hours, placing the children in groups according to age.
“We have smaller children, pre-teens and adolescents. We teach them life skills, child rights, and reporting procedures in case of eventualities when they encounter abuse. We play games with them, and sometimes have away games against children from neighbouring corners,” she says.
Through the Building a Resilient Safe and Inclusive Community – Child Protection (BRSIC) project implemented by World Vision Malawi, with funding from UNICEF has helped fund the training and capacity building of 312 volunteers, to manage 104 Children’s Corners across Blantyre alone. From these efforts, more than 15,000 children are able to benefit.
“I love playing ball. I also made new friends here” – Felix (14).