The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on movement has been disrupting normal life. And, although these restrictions are absolutely necessary to prevent the worst public health outcomes from becoming a reality, public spaces continue to play a vital role in the health and well-being of our communities.
In Vietnam, the government committed to ensuring proper sanitization in public spaces. However, the COVID-19 pandemic had a serious negative impact on children, both physically and mentally. Although Hanoi, and all of Vietnam, was very successful in controlling the virus and had eased the social distancing orders earlier than most countries, primary school children were still being kept at home as a precautionary measure. Un-Habitat wanted to provide an opportunity for children to once again be active outdoors while still ensuring COVID-19 prevention.
The purpose of this project was to increase safe and inclusive community playgrounds that promote physical activities and social connection and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 among children in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Hanoi, Vietnam. Un-Habitat achieved this outcome by creating mobile playgrounds that could act as pop-up projects in neighbourhoods.
Nearly 60 playworkers were trained on COVID-19 prevention measures which included ensuring children wash their hands before using the playgrounds, identifying zones for individuals and smaller groups and sanitizing the equipment after events. A training curriculum was developed with information on how to organize and maintain playgrounds and safety principles.
Some 400 children benefitted from the playgrounds which were funded by the Block by Block foundation. By building the capacity for local residents to manage and develop a mobile playground model in their community, these communities are now well positioned to provide playing opportunities for children during future crises such as pandemics
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