Designing activities for children.
Your psychosocial team argues that you should work with community members to identify and secure venues for children’s activities. What kinds of venue are you looking for? Why?
We would need to first identify potentially safe, child-friendly spaces that already exist, such as schools and day-care centers, juvenile detention centers, pediatric medical facilities, or other community spaces that are specifically for children. We would then begin discussions with adults who work with children such teachers, care-givers, community leaders etc to identify what they think are the needs, with the assumption that they would be more aware of the needs of the children in the community. We would also partner with other existing programs to improve psychosocial care for children via livelihoods, health or nutrition programs etc. Based on the results of preliminary assessments, we would go on to design the following activities, based on the local contexts as necessary.
Natural supports
• Burial rituals
• Prayer
• Parental calming or reassurance of a child
• Participation in ‘normal’ activities
• Peer discussion or problem-solving
• Collective planning and action
Externally organized
• Child Friendly Spaces
• Psychological first aid
• Counseling
• NGO program on positive parenting
• NGO program on family
tracing and reunification
• School-based supports
• NGO facilitated livelihood

In designing psychosocial activities, you are asked to be mindful about “Doing No Harm” to your participants. Why is this important? How is this principle related to being culturally sensitive? Please provide an example.

Our design will best enable us to do no harm as we are working with community members who are most aware of the local customs and culture and what is most culturally appropriate, and to identify the most vulnerable groups of children who might need special attention. The potential to do harm is great in this area of work so there is the need to be aware of protection risks in the implementation of activities that were designed. Examples would include poor coordination that would compromise quality of psychosocial activities, lack of follow-up support for beneficiaries, undermining of local supports, stigmatization of vulnerable groups, raised expectations of communities etc. These issues could be prevented through learning about the local contexts and working with local stakeholders.