Instead, a large number of children witness or experience violence in their own household. For all too many, this has been a reality they were born into. As a result of the pandemic, the need for a safe space is now bigger than ever before.
The need for a safe place during the pandemic
“We could have never imagined the devastating consequences that the pandemic would have for people who live in poverty and a locked down society.
“In South Africa alone, domestic violence has increased by hundreds of percent and the need of support for traumatised children and women is currently enormous.
“We have therefore increased our focus on providing psycho-social and educational support, but the situation is critical and we need all the support we can get to help as many as possible,” said Project Playground co-founder Frida Vesterberg.
Quincy Jones, Goldfish, Zolani…
To increase awareness of the need for a safe space for all children, Project Playground has launched the “Safe Space” campaign with a live-streamed fundraising gala to be held on Thursday 17 September at 19:00.
There you will meet the children and youth from Project Playground’s centres in South Africa and Sweden, as well as several well-known international profiles who will be telling their stories about their own “safe spaces”.
The line-up includes award-winning artist Quincy Jones, Goldfish, Craig Lucas, Freshlyground lead singer Zolani, and many more. The gala will be hosted by Renée Nyberg.
The event will also stream on The South African.
“It is time that we raise up those who suffer the hardest under the pandemic. For the past 10 years, we have worked to create safe spaces for children in society where the rift is already enormous, but we have never before has our work been as critically needed as it is today,” said H.R.H Princess Sofia of Sweden, co-founder of Project Playground, who will also be participating in the gala event.
“If we do not take action now, we can expect enormous consequences for the world.”
Be part of the Safe Space gala event
The fundraising gala Safe Space takes place on Thursday 17 September at 19.00.
You can register now on this page. #ppgsafespace The event will be streamed on The South African’s website as well.
Project Playground was founded in 2010 by H.R.H. Princess Sofia of Sweden and Frida Vesterberg to create safe spaces for children and youth both in and outside of the home, where they, together with adults they trust, can develop into confident and secure individuals with a positive look on their future.
Project Playground has operations in several locations in South Africa and Sweden, and works to improve opportunities for children and youth in life through developmental and stimulating activities, psycho-social support and family strengthening work.
Around one thousand children and youth between the ages of four and 25 participate in Project Playground’s activities every year, of which some have intellectual and/or physical disabilities.
Facts and figures
- In South Africa, Project Playground serves 850 children and offered more than 300 children and youth between the ages of four and 13 academic support during the COVID-19 crisis;
- In Sweden, Project Playground ran 254 activities during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis this spring, 65 of which were online, to support youth through academic support;
- 689 children received psycho-social interventions just last month; and
- In South Africa, Project Playground has provided more than 16 000 meals to vulnerable children and families since March.