Metamorphosis of a parking lot

Libya, September 7, 2011

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    Photo: Sonal Shinde/Mercy Corps Photo: parking_lot.jpg

During the holy month of Ramadan, kids here had an opportunity to leave their homes after months of instability and enjoy the evenings with friends and family. Many congregated in an abandoned parking lot, which has been transformed into a playground with the help of a local organization Maktab Riaiat Atfal Althwwar.

Mercy Corps’ team in Misurata supported the organization with playground equipment including swings, slides and a tent for indoor activities. One of the most important components of providing psychosocial support to children is creating safe spaces, and encouraging them to resume recreational activities, even while schools are still closed.

In a town like Misrata, where fighting was brutal and many children witnessed the violence, this is all the more important. Along with the infrastructure to facilitate recreation, the team’s psychosocial adviser trained the volunteers to provide psychological first aid and conduct structured recreational activities with children. Through this support, children of Takhniya have a safe place to play until playgrounds and schools are reopened and rebuilt.