Deepening CFS activities

Depending on context, CFS activities can be expanded in the weeks following the initial startup. These can include:

  • Training or mentoring on topics related to psychosocial support e.g. psychological first aid, how to support isolated children, and when and how to make referrals
  • Peer mentoring, youth clubs, life skills training, vocational training and nonformal education can be incorporated to meet the psychosocial needs of youth:
    • Peer mentoring – youth can be a valuable resource in working with younger children. Peer groups where youth teach younger children about nutrition, hygiene, and other basic life skills may be an approach integrated into the CFS – this also develops skills in the youth.
    • Youth clubs provide adolescents with important skills and support networks, and can help to reduce their immediate vulnerability and feelings of powerlessness. When youth do not have positive options in their lives, they are at increased risk of sexual exploitation, recruitment, and child labour. Youth clubs can provide positive options and can enable youth to take a proactive role in addressing community problems. And youth clubs provide an important opportunity for youth to relax and have fun
    • Life skills training – Depending on the context, a range of life skills can be added to the activity schedule. This includes survival messages, environmental hazards prevention, general health information, hygiene needs to prevent outbreaks, HIV/AIDS prevention and development of skills that adapt to the changing environment as the population moves out of crisis.
    • Nonformal education and vocational training – can offer structured, normalising, educational activities that may reflect some of the youth’s educational experiences prior to the emergency. Nonformal education can help youth re-enter school, learn a trade or find a job. Could include vocational training, numeracy training, or language skills.
  • Hold reflections with child and youth participants on what they like, don’t like or want more of. Use this information to plan improvements. Be particularly attentive to gender issues, ensuring that boys don’t get targeted for most of the activities.
  • Hold reflections with the community, taking stock of who does not come to the CFS and why not, and problem solve about ways to boost access to the CFS
  • Enable community dramas where children design and practice the drama in the CFS. The drama could illustrate something key about the children’s situation. The children could perform for the community, after which the community would reflect and think about next steps.
  • Make deeper linkages with government, or offer teacher training
  • Discuss with volunteers, staff and community members the linkages between CFS and child wellbeing committees

Source: Unicef

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