Children playing after school at the Yusuf Batil camp in Maban, South Sudan. Credit: LWF/Melany Markham

Children playing after school at the Yusuf Batil camp in Maban, South Sudan.

The school day has finished and the children are running out the doors to find their favorite jump rope or ball or to join their favorite game. As the children laugh and pant, running around the field the sun finally sets and they head home for dinner, tired but happy.

A pretty common story for many of us as we remember back to our childhood days, as well it should be. These moments of play can have a major impact on the children who engage in them. This fact is not lost on the Lutheran World Federation who has taken seriously the need and impact of play as an act of healing for children in refugee camps, who may be escaping violence or disease. In places like Yusuf Batil camp in Maban, South Sudan the LWF is creating child-friendly spaces and supplying the resources to let kids be kids, in the midst of this major disruption in their lives.

It’s another great example of how the ELCA, through our membership in the LWF, is helping to support more holistic approaches to disaster response and humanitarian aid. In the United States we support a similar program called Camp Noah, to help children process the impacts of disaster upon their lives.

To learn more about how this particular ministry is playing out at the Yusuf Batil camp and why it is so important, read the LWF story Healing through Play.

Gifts to ELCA Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.