Child and adolescent friendly spaces providing protection and education in emergencies: A case study from the 2015 Nepal earthquake response.
This case study describes how Child and Adolescent Friendly Spaces set up by Plan International after the 2015 Nepal earthquake provided physical and emotional safety, information and integrated child protection and education services to children, adolescent girls and boys and their caregivers.
After a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on 25th April 2015, Plan International established 88 Child and Adolescent Friendly Spaces that reached 8,543 children and adolescents with a range of recreational, psychosocial and learning activities. The spaces offered a safe and supervised environment for the children to play and learn, as an alternative for their destroyed homes and schools.
When formal education resumed 2 months after the earthquake, some spaces transitioned into Temporary Learning Centres for primary schools while other spaces were used as Adolescent Spaces specifically for adolescent girls and boys to meet and receive support. Self-reported evidence by the users show that the Child and Adolescent Friendly spaces have contributed to improved psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents. Girls and boys expressed that they felt safe and happy, that they had a place to meet their friends and talk about their experiences.
Adolescent girls, some of them married, felt it was important to have a safe space to meet each other. Parents reported that they learnt how to talk with and care for their children after the disaster. The spaces served as a central point in the community where lifesaving information was shared with both children and adults on how to stay safe after the earthquake.