Critical training to better protect, support, and heal vulnerable children


series: Protecting the Children by Wayne Bleier


How do you make your child friendly space a sacred place for children? I really like this metaphor because all or most of us have our religion and we have a place to the practice religion. Whether it's a mosque, a temple, or a church; and when we go to this place as soon as we cross that threshold we feel something.

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I always ask people what is it about that space that makes you feel special? I like to ask people how they can create that in the child friendly space. How will children know that as soon as they cross that threshold that they're going to have an experience?

That's why I like dividing the center into five different sections. Such as the introduction activity; the structured activity; the games; the local traditional games, another relaxation; some kind of activity and then a goodbye. So the children know that each time they come they're going to experience the same set of events as as opposed to just going there and having free play the whole time. It's that structure that creates the sacredness.


Wayne Bleier

Wayne is a trained child and family therapist with over 25 years of experience supervising and implementing CP programs overseas in Former -Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Rep of Congo, Indonesia, East Timor, Afghanistan, Liberia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Uganda, Lebanon, and Bangladesh. During this time he worked with Mike Wessells at Columbia University.

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He has worked for IRC, Save the Children UK, Child Fund International, War Child UK and UNICEF. Wayne holds an MSW degree from the University of Washington. Currently he holds the position of Child Protection Manger and Case Management Specialist for DRC's program working in the Rohingya emergency in Bangladesh.


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