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Community centers for the revitalization of child survivors of war and insecurity in Beni

Beni territory in eastern Congo is still experiencing cyclical killings, population displacement, their return after a semblance of calm, new murders and new displacement to safer places. Most affected are in fact the children, especially those under 5. Having lost one parent or both, some are supported by host families which - most of them - are poor and others by mothers who in addition to their destitution, for the most part, are in a state of trauma as well. The idea is to create for them in relatively safe areas, special structures where they receive psycho-social care and are better prepared to enter school life for their integral development.

Photo of joseph afumba
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Most of the organizations assisting these populations are involved in emergencies only. We, YES - Africa, are in the logic of an impact that 'extends over the long term, as this age group is very crucial for the child and that the management of this period is decisive for building a personality that is going to characterize the rest of life.

 How will it work?
Community centers will be equipped with materials and tools needed to provide children better leisure time.From toys to video games through children's books. While the focus will be thrown on the relaxation of children, several sessions on trauma will be organized by experts who will be selected specifically for this purpose and will be part of the centers staff. To raise their genius, children will be asked to tinker gadjets and draw figures and objects.Music, skits and several small game will be on the menu, all this following a well-established schedule. Food will be provided twice a day.We'll make sure the meals are efficient to help children concerned by malnutrition as most of them will come from families with low - income. For those living far from the centers, transportation will be provided. One bus per center can be sufficient. But some children whose family envirronnement either in their own families or foster families shall be judged unhealthy will be hosted in the centers.

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

We want to startup under two centers, one of which is located in Beni and another in Oicha. The atrocities that take place in this part of the country continue to worsen and it is not a secret that in this situation women and children are more exposed.So we want through the creation of these centers, children 0 to 5 years and some women who survived these horrors to have structures that can help reduce their vulnerable situation. Direct beneficiaries are children and their mothers are the indirect beneficiaries because they are the number of partners in the gait to equip the communities on how to care for children in such situations. Some mothers have also experienced a trauma after the loss of their spouses or other family members, they will need assistance because if they are not healed, we can not expect anything positive from them in term of supervision of their children. It's like leaving two crippled each other.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

We can test this idea in a quick and low - cost way right now by: 1. approaching women and children, sensitize them on the project and get an agreement 2. meeting others responsibles des communautes d'ou 3. Sharing again the ideas of the project with the group of children and women,and with them identify urgent and basics actions to implement

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

We may need this: 1. Shared experiences of those who may have done this before of have it in their country. 2. Enriching of idea so that it serves it's purpose in the community. 3. A feedback from IDEO.COM or their appreciation.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Guy Viner

Great share, Joseph. Perhaps you, or others here, might be keen to give some part of this a go in our own community as a lightweight prototype and let everyone know what you discovered? For some inspiration… look what happened when an OpenIDEO collaborator tested ideas out in their own communities: or another exciting example:

Photo of Guy Viner

And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can dig who they're collaborating with. Think skills, experience, passions & wit! Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge...

Photo of joseph afumba

Thanks Guy. I'll not wait to follow your suggestions. Coming back to you for new concerns