Lefika La Phodiso, an art therapy centre, held an event for children to celebrate Human Rights Day

A group of children busy creating their own drawings during an event held at Constitution Hill to celebrate Human Rights Day

Lefika La Phodiso, an art therapy centre in Parktown, held an event for children at Constitutional Hill on 22 March to celebrate Human Rights Day.

The event was attended by dozens of children who were encouraged to participate in arts and crafts. Various workstations were set up for children to create art and beadwork. They could also utilise the foam play blocks.

Children enjoy playing with foam blocks at an event organised by Lefika La Phodiso to celebrate Human Rights Day.

The event focused on children’s rights to safe spaces and encouraged an environment for children to create and participate. Children were also encouraged to decorate a tree meant to symbolise their growth.

Rozanne Myburgh, a training co-ordinator at Lefika La Phodiso said, “What we do at Lefika is we train community art councillors and their scope of practice is to work in communities, with communities using art to create support groups and build resilience for children.”

Play Africa, a non-profit organisation aimed at creating children’s museums, partnered with Lefika La Phodiso to create the safe environment for children to play at Constitution Hill.

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Gretchen Wilson-Prangley, the CEO of Play Africa said, “We really showcase a statistic from Unicef that says 71 per cent of South African children do not have access to safe play environments. We really believe that demonstrates a real play crisis and a crisis that we really need to respond to in our society.

”I think one of the challenges that we face is that many people see play and experiential learning as a ‘nice to have’ and not a ‘have to have’ but we believe play is a basic human right for all children and it’s a way in which children make sense of the world.”

The organisations work on a volunteer basis and many part-time volunteers were present on the day to facilitate the children in creating and playing. Futhi Mbongwe, a volunteer for Play Africa, said her passion is to make play a way of learning for kids. “Also, the concept where we can create a space for kids where they can come and play and experience a lot of aspects of learning. I think it’s interesting because it’s something that we don’t have much of in South Africa so I think it’s [a move in] the right direction.”

Edited by Ingrid Pepler

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