LINDA NYONDO, Nchelenge
WORLD Vision Zambia has established a shelter for traumatised children at Kenani refugee transit centre in Nchelenge at a cost of US$50,000.
The shelter is set to assist traumatised children through counselling.
Kenani transit centre is home to over 14, 000 refugees, mostly from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
World Vision humanitarian aid manager Bernard Zgambo said in an interview recently that the centre is equipped with trained and qualified counsellors to effectively assist the children.
Mr Zgambo said World Vision resolved to set up the shelter after it realised a number of children at the refugee transit centre were traumatised as a result of happenings in their home country.
“Some of the children witnessed their parents being beheaded by the rebels, while others arrived at the centre unaccompanied. That can be quite traumatising.
“When we started the interventions at the centre, some of the children were reserved; they did not want to participate in any activity. However, over time, they are opening up and sharing their experience,’’ Mr Zgambo said.
He said the child-friendly shelter has since assisted a number of children to recover from the trauma and are now leading normal lives.
Mr Zgambo said the centre is also providing early childhood learning to all those in need.
He said in partnership with other stakeholders, World Vision is considering constructing a school at Mantapala, the permanent settlement of the refugees.
Mr Zgambo said children; regardless of their status in society, have a right to education as future leaders.