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Helping children from a crisis mindset to hope and brain development, from loving toy guns to loving toy pets.

Our experience found that children in conflict areas suffer brain development gaps, they play fighting, divided into 2 chasing either group.

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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Children living in countries at war experience hostility throughout their growth periods and most of them come under direct attack, been killed, maimed or recruited to fight, and used as human shields. And world leaders are still failing to hold perpetrators to account for their actions. For the thousands of children killed or maimed in conflicts this year, the world’s failure is clear. Yet we are also failing children when their homes, their schools and hospitals, and the other services that provide them with the basics of life are denied or attacked. The fact that several warring parties have frequently been warned by for example UNICEF to abide by their obligations under international law to immediately end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and water infrastructure. UNICEF also calls on states with influence over parties to conflict to use that influence to protect children. Today, conflicts are more frequent, more violent, and longer-lasting, and children pay the highest price and their lives are a waking nightmare. Whether living in conflict areas or moved away from home as refugees or displaced internally, they live in as if they live in another world, for even in their motherland, they equally face continuous disturbances. As they live and grow on their toes, a must be ready to run any time or die. No sleep, no food, no water, and no rest, and always have to escape death or being hurt. Yet the war seemed to be endless, it looks as if no one cares about the children’s future. To make it worse, thousands more have been separated from their families. The trauma remains with these same children, let alone brain development gaps, uncertain future, all they know, talk about and play of is running battles, yet all these seem like indicating that the worse still lies ahead of us.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

We are working in northern Uganda the region hosting millions of refugees from neighbouring South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as with a post-war community as the host. The children in both host communities and refugees face the same challenge and this project targets both communities.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Our idea aims to help conflict children recover from brainwash, which if not removed lead to conflict, engaging all parents, caregivers, teachers & communities to provide children with better play tools, like pets or other useful toys, photos, or pictures, besides let them make objects like these toys or dolls with materials in what maybe like a play, fun making but it would provide them with early learning and skills development at home, so they may forget about what they have passed through.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Enhancing and practicing executive function skills-infancy to adolescence. Play can take us to imaginary worlds and challenge our minds as well as our bodies. The solution will help to stimulate/sustain brain development in the right way as children love to play they begin to learn normally. That lead to regaining mental health and physical growth of young children, create a conducive learning experience and environment/exposure for young children, and enable families, caregivers and community members to plan and carry out the tasks relating to brain development of young children by seeing, saying and doing, as well as children's rights and promoting community development. To enable the programme to succeed, the project aims to support families, caregivers and community with materials and guidance to inspire, promote, motivate, monitor and support early child development by providing the necessary love and care for the affected children to enable them to recover from the missing gap

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

We are passionate about helping conflict children to discover the other side of life. We provide them new ideas as a tool for them to realize their future full potential, for what they learn at this stage makes the foundation for all later learning and where they may have hope and identify themselves as God had created them for. The children in question when you bring them together with other children, say from the undisturbed areas, and asked them: which toy do you like most? The children from the towns or city who did not experience the conflict would answer 'toy pets', while those who experienced conflict answer "toy guns". Hence, As children remember 90% of what they say and do, When we provide these children with the right ideas to learn and play, they develop new vision, talents, and ideas that enable them to grow and lead useful lives in this world either than having crisis mindsets and uncertain future without any single hope for the good of their respective communities.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

We expect all infants and teenagers to benefit better from this service and will engage parents, guardians , caregivers and communities as direct and indirect beneficiaries to get involved actively in early childhood learning and brain development by helping them for example to forget about the difficult situations that they have undergone as well as to make infants learn to make and say constructive ideas other than what they have seen, because when we care about the future, it should not imply that we are concerned about material things alone, Without taking into account who would be in control then. and who will inspire, promote, motivate, monitor and support their creativity, when they are misled by conflict mindsets. They are curious and need our guidance in the right direction, for them to attain their full potential.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Almost 100% of Young Children in Northern Uganda Play Fighting, Use War Toys both in camps & among host communities The centre is set to provide infants/teenagers with the full conducive learning environment, which are lacking in this region, most young families relied on baby seekers. The centre will help with supporting materials for inspiration, creativity, play and more as they come in contact with other caregivers at the centre. The children will enjoy, experience care individually and as a group, growth and development, socially, physically, morally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Help children realize their learning capabilities at this stage of development, as children develop creativity in all areas of learning, that is, by inspiration, try to present materials according to age and understanding of the children. help children to live in harmony with others. The centre will provide the parents with materials for homework, for example, homemade toys of all kinds.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

We are working in Uganda with women and youth, empowering communities by training in social enterprises & vocational life skills. We opened a learning & childcare centre to provide for the children while mothers attend the training to enable young mothers concentrate on training session. We started with 15 by last year, and now we have over 300 infants. We make with them toys of various developmental objects through play and fun making, they learn how to fix, assemble materials like wooden blocks, floating light objects & sinking heavy objects, soaking, dissolving objects in water, pulling, fitting, joining pieces and more. They develop social skills among themselves, like sharing, turn operation, leadership and ideas of mathematical concepts of sorting, shapes, length, weight, height, small, round, square, parent making, and counting. Our teachers are already actively implementing this new idea and our clients are appreciating, as this makes interesting playful and direct learning

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

The organizations that are already providing similar services if any would be our best partners.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

Rural Women and Youth Coordination- Department of early childhood development and brain development project

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

We are a department of early childhood development within Rural Women and Youth Coordination the main organisation, registered as an NGO/CBO working for the local people in areas of health, education, water and sanitation, environment, social enterprises and more. We are part of the communities we serve, and furthermore, we have experienced the same challenge over the last twenty years, and that is the reason we have this project

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

Lira, Northern Uganda

Attachments (1)

Enhancing and practicing executive function skills.docx

Summary of the problem statement, the beneficiaries, research and scope of work


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mia Tran

I can't say how much I love this idea. The most critical factor in building resilience in children and helping them weather traumatic situations is to have safe and loving adults who are consistently there for them and available physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
As a young age state, children's ability to possess data and knowledge is quite limited, thus what they had been told and heard could significantly affect them in many ways, especially something related to themselves. Hence, the environment that they raised and grew up is essential in the development of their thinking and behaviors. I have been to some places that I met people who have bad childhood memories that still hurt them today. I know how hard for them to come over this. I really hope that your idea ables to bring a massive change for the children. The concept of social skill class creates a perfect opportunity for them to learn, enhance knowledge, and see the world on a different side. When it takes a long going process to influence the community, I hope everyone in your association stays well and empathy.


Hi Mia Tran,
Thank you very much for your concern too! You are absolutely right, everyone remembers all about what may have happened to him or her at early stages of life, and worse still if they happen to be suffering still lingering in their minds. You find that person’s mood is usually gloomy or thinking that no one likes him or her, since they never cared about their suffering then and more. That is why we are so passionate to intervene in these particular situations as we see our children so curious about fighting, shooting and killing even though they do not understand what they are doing at the moment.
Yes, our staff are so committed to helping these children forget about such bad experiences, develop their brain for better future but the ONLY AND MAJOR challenge is funding support as the children are over 10,000 who need this change of mindsets as well as brain development in order to enable them build their future and be able to contribute to both world peace as well as world economy and live meaning lives as other children in other parts of the world.

Thank you again for your time and if you know of any funding support for such programme please let us know.

Regards, Brenda.

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