Organization Establishes Safe Play Area for Displaced Children; Assesses Child Care Facility Damage; and Works with Community to Help Families Rebuild Lives.
|Felicia's grandmother's house in the Highland neighborhood of Moore, Okla., was totally destroyed when the tornado hit on May 20. Felicia and her friend Jamie are working to salvage what they can from the house. Pictured here are Jamie's children, Randa, 14, Shelby, 16, and Brett, 10, as well as Felicia's 9-year-old daughter, Mykayla. Justin Clemons/Getty images for Save the Children.
Ajla Grozdanic 202.262.7171
WASHINGTON (May 24, 2013) — Save the Children's U.S. emergency response team is making sure the needs of children in tornado-affected Oklahoma are prioritized as the recovery process begins. The organization has already established a safe play area, called a Child-Friendly Space, at the Moore Community Center, and will be creating these safe spaces at additional shelters where displaced families continue to arrive.
"Living through a major disaster often has a long-lasting emotional impact on children, especially the youngest ones, who need to regain a sense of normalcy and routine in order to begin to recover," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "That's why Save the Children is working with the community to open safe play areas in shelters and help restore child-care services so parents and children can begin rebuilding their lives."
In addition, Save the Children is helping lead the creation of a task force with federal, state and local partners in Oklahoma to address children's needs through summer programs and when school resumes.
"I feel like I just came out of a daze and realized I'm homeless," said a mom named Kristi, whose family has lost everything during the tornado. "So many things go through your mind. You reach for a toothbrush and you don't have it. You reach for a comb and you don't have it. There's nothing left."
Save the Children is meeting family after family in Oklahoma who have suffered unimaginable loss. Children's lives have been turned upside down, their day care centers, schools and life as they knew it are all gone. Children, like Kristi's 3-year-old daughter, are now homeless and their futures uncertain.
To support our Oklahoma Tornadoes Children in Emergencies Fund, visit www.savethechildren.org/tornado.
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About Save the Children
Save the Children works to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of children by ensuring they have the resources they need—access to quality education, healthy foods, and opportunities to grow and develop in a nurturing environment. When disasters strike, like hurricanes and wildfires, Save the Children is among the first on the ground, ensuring the needs of children are being met.
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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