For Children’s Day, UNICEF conducted the “Communicating Smiles” campaign to foster equality and solidarity between children affected by the earthquake and others not affected; so, students from a school in Quito sent their messages of support for children in Manabí.
“Communicating Smiles” put children in direct communication, even though they are in different places; conveying their cheer and happiness, and reminding children who are more vulnerable after the earthquake that they are not alone.
Children received these messages on 1st June at an event organized at temporary schools in Jama, Manabí, installed with UNICEF’s support.
The event raised consciousness and reminded boys, girls and adolescents that they have rights, through recreational play stations with games and play-based activities.
These stations were divided into various themes: the Health Station, which held activities about preventing Zika, inviting children to learn how to keep tanks clean to prevent mosquitos from breeding, and the proper way to dress to keep this disease vector from biting; the Hygiene Station presented a play on the importance of personal cleanliness and hand-washing.
The Back to Happiness Station exposed them to the psycho-social recovery methodology for children affected by natural disasters. Trained personnel conducted games and play-based activities with the children. Another Station was for Inclusion, at which children colored instructional material about their rights.
Additionally, at the Education Station, children played about the different professions; at the Growing Up Free Station, they painted pictures about being free; at the Identity Station, they filled out their own ID cards, writing their personal data and marking their fingerprints. Finally, the Risk-Land Station had a parcheesi game to learn what measures to take in the event of natural disasters.
After the earthquake, UNICEF and its humanitarian team have assisted the national Government with the emergency, both technically and by providing supplies and calling for the international community to collaborate in responding.