This project provides a safe environment for orphans and vulnerable children to play and learn. It is free and open to all children from impoverished communities in Lusaka, Zambia. About 760 children are enrolled and 90-100 children participate each week. Health care personnel assess the mental and physical development as children engage in educational games, activities, workshops on HIV. Homework help and a snack is provided. Parents are counseled as needed. Result is improved mental health.
A high incidence of HIV, AIDS and malaria, low education, and a high rate of unemployment characterizes our community. Most residents are extremely poor and live on less than $2 per day. A majority of the children suffer from mental health issues due food insecurity, illness, loss of a parent due to AIDS , HIV related stigma, and/or living with extended family who have minimal resources to provide adequate care. Most children do not have a safe place to play. These impact mental development.
Trained health aides observe children during play to assess mental and physical health issues due to poverty, stress, trauma, apathy, or abuse. The children interact freely with peers irrespective of HIV status, are kept off the streets on a weekend, have fun and develop a sense of well-being. Educational games and activities help identify psycho-social needs. Counseling is provided to improve mental health and strengthen family relationships. Homework help and a small snack is also provided.
An opportunity to play and learn in a safe environment leads to better mental and physical health for children who participate regularly. Homework help motivates children to do better at school. Older children lead HIV workshops. Result is children develop leadership qualities, are happier and better adjusted to their circumstances. Counseling and information about services available is provided to family members. The community can break out of the vicious circle of low education and poverty
This project has provided additional documentation in a XLSX file (projdoc.xlsx).
About "Safe Park"
We are Growing Educators and Leaders
Safe Park": A weekly haven for vulnerable children
Zambian games we play during "Safe Park"