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Protecting flood affected children of district Dadu

Protecting flood affected children of district Dadu

National Rural Support Program implementing ‘Child Friendly Space’ project in a village of Dadu Sindh

Furqan Hyder Shaikh

The devastating floods in Sindh in 2022 brought damages and loss of lives, infrastructure, and livelihoods. The rural settings in Sindh were impacted badly due to the state of already being in shattered. People’s livelihood, agriculture, water sanitation & health, shelter, and most importantly the protection of the children appeared most affected & vulnerable and most challenging for the families.

In view of such a situation, National Rural Support Program (NRSP), launched a project, funded by Save the Children International (SCI) and European Union, for the intervention to provide Child Friendly Space (CFS) to the children in village Rasheed Sand, taluka Khairpur Nathan Shah of district Dadu. District Dadu experienced most of the severe impacts of the floods in 2022.

NRSP-5Ms. Rubina of village Rasheed Sand, says that the CFS provided safety and security to their children. She said: “The floods made us helpless and no help from anyone reached out us. But it was NRSP which came forward and helped us provide a safety place for our children”.

“The CFS contributes to the reduction of trauma that the flood affectees faced together with the children during the times of still water of floods in the homes and village. Now we are happy to see our children growing in an organized learning environment proving mental peace,” adds Ms. Rubina.

NRSP-3The CFS is an organized facility where children, mostly vulnerable, come to learn new knowledge and skills regarding daily life particularly focusing social, psychological, and learning landscape. The CFS at village Rasheed Sand is established by NRSP and SCI under the “Conflict Sensitive Early Recovery Support to Flood Affected Communities for District Dadu, Sindh Province Funded by Save the Children International” project. Child protection (CP) is one of the components under which the CFS is established aimed at facilitating flood affected children of district Dadu to help them come out of the trauma of floods, and assist in striving for the peace of mind leading to sustainability.

Also read: When Cemeteries Are Flooded, Where Do You Bury the Dead?

Ms. Yasmeen, CFS Supervisor, enthusiast to impart new knowledge and skills to flood affected children at village Rasheed Sand said that: There are 150 children enrolled at her CFS. Operationally, most of the children come at CFS after school time. There are two shifts which intake the enrolled children from different backgrounds. “Here we build children’s capacity in the areas of health, hygiene, basic rights, child labor, importance of education, preventing early child marriage, exploitation by all means, hazard mitigation, sexual harassment, how maintain friendly environment.

NRSP=4 According to Fayaz Ali Abro, Child Protection Coordinator, the CFS is playing its basic and influencing role in gathering children at the CFS. We training the children about how to come out of trauma when the disaster situation appears like floods in 2022, provision of psycho social support through psychologist and case management officer for referral mechanism through identifying issues, training to children for wellbeing, and make an action plan for mitigation against disaster and disaster management in order to help children for pre-disaster management and response, environmental protection, and providing safeguarding training.

Also read: Pakistan floods: Time running out for families in Sindh

Project Manager, Nazar Joyo opines that this project intervention has provided timely support to flood affected children at district Dadu. However, the project seeks to hold that the recovery is promoted, safety and dignity are restored, and resilience of flood-affected population is improved with the thematic areas of child protection, integrated (Conflict Prevention, Basic Needs, Food security and Livelihoods, Recovery of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion) component, and housing reconstruction.

NRSP-2Operationally speaking, the CFS is structured with village organization (VO) of village Rasheed Sand, which tells NRSP about their issues and what would be possible solution, also identify the most vulnerable needing speedy recovery support. CP component is led by CP Coordinator. There are two supervisors (1 male and a female), recreational kits for children, Child Protection Group (CGP) committee (5 male and 5 female from village), Children Club (CC) committee (10 girls and 10 boys), and a security guards. The administrative staff is paid and the CFS is rented out.

The parents of the children learning skills and getting new knowledge at CFS village Rasheed Sand wish that such projects should keep continued for the benefits of rural communities of Sindh particularly of those who are badly affected by the floods of 2022 in Sindh.

Also read: Ill-Planned Amri Bridge over Indus River caused floods in 2022

The component of child protection under this project aims to benefit thousands of beneficiaries of taluka Khairpur Nathan Shah (a most vulnerable geographical area to the pressure of floods), however this community participatory intervention has put a smile on the faces of flood affected children.

The beneficiaries will be able to learn how to protect themselves not only in the times of disasters like floods but also for how to maintain stress, how to prevent early child marriage, and most important how to remain unaffected from sexual harassment, and skills for coming out of trauma.


Furqan Hyder Shaikh is Communication Coordinator, Regional Office Hyderabad, National Rural Support Program


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