In protracted crises children and youth, especially girls, are impacted by broken social networks, trauma, a lack of personal learning, intellectual development and creative stimuli. Cognitive and social problems include withdrawal, aggression and interpersonal difficulties. Affected people often lose perspective and joy in life, at risk of becoming a lost generation.
At the same time, traditional humanitarian projects working often face implementation challenges regarding logistical provisions, staff security, resource and space constraints.
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Recreational activities in educational, social or cultural realms reportedly help ease psychosocial challenges and foster peoples’ minds and resilience. Similar tech-enabled approaches have been either proven and tested only in non-crisis environments, or show limitations in their application in crisis contexts. Typical limitations are in logistical provisions (dedicated location, procurement and transport of required material, long-term stay and support through experts/implementers) due to security, resource constraints and other challenges.
The challenge of increasing participation in education by enabling children and youth to feel safe, is faced by numerous education in emergencies interventions. A necessary precursor to learning is children and youth feeling physically, mentally and emotionally safe. This includes both during emergency situations and the ongoing psycho-social effects. Girls in particular face major constraints due to safety, through both direct heightened risk in conflict situations and other emergencies, or parents and families restricting girls’ movements or the extent of their learning. A new wave of innovations imagines ways for children to learn, safely, while living in emergency environments.
How we contribute:
Visual projections can create digital immersive experiences that facilitate to connect with oneself and others. Participants of diverse backgrounds can learn, play, marvel and explore through motion sensitive interactions, augmented reality, contextual thought-provoking installations. This experiential learning and recreational intervention encourages being curious for more learning and resourceful – in a good, safe state of mind. Facilitators support to process experiences, for stress relief, learning and social cohesion and are crucial to embed impact of this activity into broader programme objectives.
By using light projections, set-up requires a minimum in resources, especially staff (reduced risk/logistics), and the activity can be adapted to nearly any space. Within minutes contents can be adapted to the participants and/or chosen by them. This intervention is replicable based on pre-designed and ready-to-set-up resources:
▪ Operationalization concept, incl. an implementation guide/support, step-by-step guidance on working with various contents
▪ Digital visual library, including digital content (open source and own content, animated and sensor reactive content, etc.)
▪ Hardware, including sound and motion sensors, projectors, set-up props for space design
Intervention phases on site (see image):
1. Community participation and engagement
2. Technical set-up
3. Participant engagement and tool
4. Documentation and evaluation