Child-friendly Space (CFSs)

A CFS is a safe place that offers children free and organized play, recreation and entertainment, as well as interactive learning activities. CFSs aim to support the resilience and health of disaster-stricken children and to establish positive and supportive interactive peer relations. By creating a child-centered environment that supports positive interaction with peers and the surrounding community, this approach helps the child develop and enhance her/his unique abilities, reduce stress and restore her/his rights to play and learn.

A CFS is a place where children and adolescents are offered the following opportunities:

  1. Safe and equal opportunities to play, learn, build coping mechanisms and enhance collaborative communication
  2. Identify the threats and risks to which they are exposed and the concerns that may affect them and find appropriate responses
  3. Strengthen psychological and social resilience
  4. Restore normality and life routines
  5. Share experiences and coping strategies through interactive activities held at the CFS
  6. Find tools for personal safety
  7. Mitigate accumulated damage and stress due to the ongoing conflict events
  8. Ensure equality for all children (AGD approach), particularly those in need of special attention and care
  9. Strengthen the capacity of parents and families to care for and communicate with children by understanding the children’s situation and the ways to deal with them in conflict times
  10. Encourage family participation in the organization and implementation of activities so as to restore a sense of community according to a community-based, community-driven approach
  11. Provide specialized care and services for children and their families through counseling and awareness-raising on a number of issues, such as health and hygiene, as well as PSS activities
  12. Reach a large number of children and adolescents and their families, especially the most vulnerable cases requiring special care
  13. Facilitate linking children and families with available services, taking into account that a CFS is not a therapy center for specific cases
  14. Promote community participation through the interactive activities carried out in the CFS

SSSD is working to set out CFSs within its community centers in the Syrian governorates where it happens to intervene. It is also working to establish child-friendly centers in these governorates in order to increase the children’s opportunity to interact in a physically and mentally safe environment that provides them with good insights into their own rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.