According to UN the number of refugees and internally displaced persons by the end of 2015 reached 60 million people. Thousands of refugee families from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria, Ukraine and other countries arrived in Russia. The majority of these families are large.
Preschool children represent a particularly vulnerable category. These children usually do not attend kindergartens, do not speak Russian, and do not go to children’s events and educational classes. Parents, who work for seven days a week, have to leave children at home alone. Children live in isolation without possibility to communicate with peers. This causes difficulties such as: attention deficits, inability to communicate, difficulty in accepting rules and boundaries, and cognitive problems. Developing an accepting environment for them is an urgent need, the sooner children get this opportunity the more effective and the more successful the adaptation will be.
In the spring of 2016 Children’s Center managed to raise funds to continue the work with preschool children and now they are launching a new project, integration kindergarten, which different children will be able to attend, refugee children, our own children, children with special needs. Kindergarten is a logical and necessary continuation of the work with preschool refugee children. The more pre-schoolers come the more obvious is the fact that the amount of activities which Children’s Center is able to offer is not enough and it does not remove the main problem – lack of integration in the local community.
‘We are parents too and we want our children to be able to see how diverse the world is, how important to know to understand and to accept other people, to be open. The ability to be close and not to be a stranger no matter who you are, where are you from and what language you speak, this is important for us’, write the founders in the project’s description.
The kindergarten will be open three times a week, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The method of work is based on the environmental approach, developed by the Center for Curative Pedagogics. This approach involves gradual move from a comfortable to developing environment that allows child to adapt to a growing number of different situations, trains their endurance, their ability to accept new things. The programme of the integration group includes various activities: outdoor games, music lessons, fairy tale therapy, manual work, reading, joint meals, festivities.
Teachers, psychologists and volunteers of the Center for Adaptation and Training of refugee children will work in the project.
You can support the project here.