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TDH GERMANY SACO
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Great show for Southern Africa delegates in Osnabruck
Great show for Southern Africa delegates in Osnabruck

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The first ever play conference in southern Africa
 
On the 12th to the 15th May Cotlands, terre des hommes Germany southern Africa region and A chance to play southern Africa had a play conference in Ranburg, South Africa. Different NGO’S, government representatives, teachers and play facilitators attended the first ever play conference in southern Africa. The main purpose for the play conference was to come up with an advocacy plan and to discuss the role of play as an important aspect of a child’s holistic development. Play has been labelled as a “time waster” in some parts of southern Africa. Children are always told about the importance of education and the culture of learning is instilled and exercised. Parents/guardians and most teachers have less interest in ensuring that children have the time and safe space to play.
 
Linda Smith explained how play is closely linked to learning. She detailed how play can assist children to solve problems, plan and prioritise and how it can sharpen their numeracy skills, Linda has been a teacher for more than 18 years and she is now a member of Hands on Technologies and the Care for Education NPO in South Africa. This gathering aims to call on to all parent, teachers, relevant stake holders and government representatives to ensure that play is part of the daily routine of child’s life as it can positively build a child’s character in future.
 
The advocacy plan will be a ticket to a better society, healthy minds and an active generation as it will be used to spread awareness and implement new ideas that will protect the child’s right to play.
A lot of disadvantaged communities have little information about the importance of play in a child’s life while children in cities are deprived of their right to play for economic benefits. Cities have a lot of buildings where companies are being opened on a regular basis which leaves no safe spaces for children to freely play without any hazardous barriers limiting them. The advocacy plan will be released on world play day on the 28th May.
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Play ambassadors in action!  
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Substance abuse session enlightens the children of Bulawayo

In September 2013, the Christian Legal Society introduced a life changing program that seeks to assist and inform convicted juveniles and maltreated children in the District of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. The initiative aims to enlighten and inform children about crucial issues such as child abuse, drug abuse and family. The children were given an opportunity to express their views in a safe non-judgemental space. The children were provided with reading material and engaged in indoor, outdoor games, pictures and storytelling as part of the rehabilitation process from juvenile delinquency. These activities are helpful to the children as they get the opportunity to interact with each other and to work as a team. During the feedback session, the children found the topics discussed to be very insightful and this knowledge would help reduce the prevalence of substance abuse.

 Blessing Ghova was one of the children who wrote a feedback report outlining how the information enlightened her about the negative impact of substance abuse to the human body. “We learnt that smoking is dangerous to our health and smoking comes from loitering because people have nothing to do with their lives” said Blessing.
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