Tiagi is a 9-year-old South Sudanese refugee who has settled in Redais camp in Sudan which is home to over 20,000 people. During the conflict in his home country, he lost both of his parents and fled across the border with his grandmother.
When he arrived at the camp, Tiagi always sat alone feeling shy and afraid until he was encouraged to attend a child-friendly space run by Plan International Sudan and local partner organisation El-ethar.
Safe spaces for children
Initially, Tiagi was shy when visiting the child-friendly space, playing on his own and watching the other children.
Our development plans are incomplete without involving children with disabilities in addressing their issues and priorities
“Gradually, Tiagi started playing football with his peers,” said his grandmother. “Then later he started to attend all the sessions in the child friendly space and learned many skills and become a popular leader and a good friend to all the children.”
Tiagi’s integration in the child friendly space encouraged the families of other children with disabilities to send their children to the child-friendly space.
Four other children with disabilities have since started attending the child-friendly space and are benefiting from playing and learning with their peers. By integrating with their peers children with disabilities have been able to gain strong social skills and make new friends to help counteract the upheaval they have faced.
Including children with disabilities
This project is among measures to ensure that children with disabilities are included in Sudan’s refugee camps.
“Our development plans are incomplete without involving children with disabilities in addressing their issues and priorities,” said Omer Huessin Plan International Sudan Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator.
Children with disabilities are among those most affected during disasters and conflicts. By partnering with likeminded organisations, Plan International Sudan is working to improve the lives of and empower children with disabilities throughout the country.