LONDON, November 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Being a disabled child in a refugee camp is tough. But play, a fundamental right for all children, enables children with disabilities to learn and be included in their community. That's why the IKEA Foundation is supporting Growing Together, a new project by Handicap International that gives displaced children in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand the right to be a child.
Handicap International is one of IKEA's six partners for the new Let's Play for Change campaign, launching on 20th November to mark the UN Universal Children's Day.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child should have the right to play. But according to a research from the Ikea Foundation, children with mental and physical disabilities are often more likely to be excluded from playing and learning activities.
"Play makes children happy and healthy. It allows them to learn and helps them to develop important life skills such as empathy, communication and resilience to stress." says Cheryl Shin-Hua Yeam, Handicap International's technical coordinator for Growing Together.
Yet, sadly, vulnerable and disabled children rarely have the opportunity to play.
"Children in Mae La refugee camp in Thailand have fled war and violence in Myanmar. Some of them were born in the camp where the living conditions are difficult. They face poverty, poor health conditions, violence... And on top of all that, they lack the opportunity to play." explains Cheryl.
"We don't have a place to play" confirms 10-year-old So Eike who lives in Mae La. "Most of the time, we play around our house, on a narrow, often muddy path. And we have no toys"
Handicap International's Growing Together project will create inclusive playgrounds where vulnerable refugee children can feel safe to play and learn.
Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Handicap International is a charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.
The Growing Together project is funded by the IKEA Foundation (the philanthropic arm of the INGKA Foundation, owner of the IKEA Group) and supported by IKEA's new good cause campaign: Let's Play for Change. http://www.ikeafoundation.org
SOURCE Handicap International, UK