PlayScope taps into the unique capacities of newcomer children, especially from refugee backgrounds, to cultivate community while contributing to their own health and wellness.
In collaboration with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) with support from the Victoria Foundation, IICRD uses creative activities (games, art, nature) to build resilience, belonging, knowledge, safety and well-being by deepening the 'scope' of play. Evidenced globally, play supports children's development, fosters empathy, allows difficult issues to be addressed, and strengthens relationships.
In 2019, more than 150 children and families were involved in participatory workshops and community meals through PlayScope. These activities were embedded into existing ICA programming including its daycare, after school club and language training. The learning sessions helped to increase awareness about child rights, especially with a focus on play in the Canadian context.
“We’ve had government people come to talk about rights before. The parents were very anxious and fearful. They often asked 'what it would take' for the kids to be taken from them. This kind of learning session allows us to have a different kind of conversation with our clients.” - ICA staff
"I feel better after today. I want my son happy. I am inspired. I have a lot of ideas like I to be patient and kind with him. I have to heal him and teach him in a good way. This is my next steps." - Parent participant
“I had three goals for this learning session with newcomer parents: 1. I want parents to realize that their rights (and those of their children’s) were probably violated before they came to Canada. 2. Parents need to realize that they have rights that should be respected in Canada. 3. Finally, I want parents to understand that they are the most important people to make sure that their children’s rights are realized. Rather than focusing on parents as ‘duty bearers’ of rights, we need to shift the focus of parents as ‘dream protectors." - IICRD Facilitator