Playing with children can curb future insecurity – Adamawa community leader

A play session during the training.
A play session during the training.
Playing with children can curb future insecurity – Adamawa community leader

A community leader in Fufoure Local government of Adamawa State, Mohammed Jijjiwa has lauded UNICEF for enhancing communication between children, parents and teachers via play expressing optimism that the new method is capable of addressing the debilitating social insecurity afflicting the nation in the nearest future.

Nigeria is currently grappling with a wave of insecurity that has led to the decimation of lives and livelihoods and rendered millions of people internally displaced.


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Jijjiwa who made the revelation during a chat with newsmen to mark the first international day of play in Fufoure noted that drawing children closer and playing with them will naturally inculcate love, empathy and compassion in them.

He noted that children who lack parental and societal empathy will naturally become angry adults in the future who may unleash mayhem on others noting that the present wave of insecurity may be a result of lack of care, illiteracy and societal neglect suffered by the criminals when they were growing up.

“The new approach will bring unity and harmony between members of families. Definitely if you change a system things will change. Being very close to my children and playing with them naturally made them receptive and feel being loved.

“If they grow up with such mindset they will treat all members of the society with empathy and kindness. That will obviate the violence we are witnessing today,” he said.

He expressed happiness for being a beneficiary of the UNICEF trainings on ECD saying that the training has made him a better parent.

“I’m happy that my community has selected me for the training on ECD. This is the third time I’m attending this training and I have benefitted immensely. It has improved relationship between me and my family. I’m now a changed person. I now sit and play with my children. The situation has fostered renewed vigour, friendship and understanding as the children have become more confident, happy and vibrant.

“When you live and play with your children you will teach them everlasting morals and indelible values. Before this kind of model is being incorporated and we had peace and now it was neglected and we had chaos all over,” he said.

Also speaking on the rationale behind the international day of play, Joel Jutum,
UNICEF education consultant in Adamawa, said, the day is earmarked to ensure Early Childhood Development (ECD).

He noted that the approach involved training of parents and teachers to appreciate the role which play, plays in the physical, mental and psychological well being of children.

Jutum said the four day training will provide the teachers and parents with the rudiments and nuances of how to use play to develop children’s cognitive, language, smell, socio emotional and sound abilities.

He said the training is taking place simultaneously in Fufoure, Guyuk and Hong local governments of Adamawa State adding that no fewer than 200 parents and teachers are involved in the pilot training.

Jutum said during the upcoming August break, a team will be dispatched across the three local governments to identify the beneficiaries and check records of activities they have carried out with their children to ensure compliance.

He said UNICEF has provided essential materials for play like football, basket ball and ECD kits among others, to ensure the success of the new drive which is administered on children within the age bracket of 3 to 12 years.

The first international day of play which was observed yesterday around the globe was a product of the United Nations General Assembly resolution which designated every 11 June as international day of play to promote the physical, social and educational well being of children.

A coalition made up of The LEGO Group, The Mattel Children’s Foundation, Hasbro, Sesame Workshop, and other global organizations and companies successfully called on United Nations member states to pass the declaration.

The International Day of Play creates a unifying moment at global, national, and local levels to elevate the importance of play as central to children’s learning and well-being — ensuring time to play, space to play, and support for quality play is prioritized. The international awareness day signals a call for policies, training, and funding to get play integrated into education and community settings worldwide.


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