Vanessa Mugabe(second left), City Tyres’ Bussiness Dev’t executive hands over one of the 100 balls to James Owona, the Human Resources director of World Vision Uganda
City Tyres donates 100 Soccer balls to South Sudan refugee children

Moses Mukitale

City Tyres, Uganda’s leading car tyre supplier has donated 100 soccer balls to the South Sudanese refugee children in Yumbe district.The balls are to facilitate refugee children’s games activities at the 20 Child friendly spaces currently being constructed by World Vision Uganda in Yumbe.

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Child-Friendly Spaces are safe places within a disaster-affected community where children’s unique needs can be met. They help children return to a normal routine by offering structured development activities, games and informal education (ECD).

While handing over the balls to World Vision Uganda’s Human resources director James Owona, City Tyres’ Business development executive Vanessa Mugabe said the balls should help refugee children overcome the trauma they experienced while leaving their country.

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‘’Children are an integral part for the growth of any nation. As City Tyres we want the refugee children from South Sudan to feel at home in Uganda, to get together and enjoy life while here.  Said Ms. Vanessa Mugabe

World Vision Uganda’s human resources director James Owona applauded City Tyres for its generosity towards the well being of the refugee children, urging other private companies to borrow a leaf.

‘’Children account for almost 55% of the total number of South Sudan refugees in Yumbe. We are therefore very grateful for your support towards their wellbeing. As World Vision we are committed to the wellbeing of children and we are open to joining hands with all those willing to support this cause.’’ Said Mr. James Owona.

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Under its South Sudan refugee response, World Vision currently has 6 fully functional child friendly spaces in Adjumani district, reaching out to more than 6500 refugee children. In Yumbe, World Vision is constructing 20 child friendly spaces using funding from UNICEF and UNHCR.

‘’World Vision recognizes that when emergencies occur, children are often the most vulnerable to injury, exploitation, abuse and other dangers. Child-Friendly Spaces are one of the ways in which we prioritize the care and protection of children in emergencies.’’ Added Mr. Owona

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How do Child-friendly spaces benefit children in emergencies?

Child-Friendly Spaces offer children a safe place to play and the support they need to deal with grief and loss. The centers are available to all children in a community, regardless of how they have been affected by the disaster or displacement. Child-Friendly Spaces provide things like:

  • Fun activities such as games, sports, singing, drama and puppet making
  • Informal learning opportunities in reading, basic hygiene and life lessons
  • A chance for children to express their feelings of fear and loss through creative play, stories and group interactions
  • Distribution of things like lunch boxes, water bottles, books and drawing equipment to supplement the basic survival items World Vision distributes to families
  • Help to reunite separated children with their families
  • Protection and referrals for orphans, abused children or disabled children (children are referred to specialized services whenever possible). A chance for parents to go about their daily activities without worrying about their children’s safety. After emergencies, children can be injured from playing in collapsed buildings and houses.