Seven Child Play Centres (CPCs) located within the Bhutanese refugee camps were threatened with closure when United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stopped its funding. The CPCs are located in Nepal.
Since 2005, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Singapore has been working closely with Caritas Nepal to improve the quality of education provided at the Bhutanese refugee camps. JRS Singapore stepped in with funds to stop the discontinuation of the seven CPCs. The latter continue to provide for the holistic development of the children (cognitive, physical and social skills) with the help of trained facilitators.
From 15 to 20 December 2009, four members of JRS Singapore made a trip to Nepal. The members’ objectives were to accompany their refugee brothers and sisters at the camps as well as to assess current and new needs.
Through the five-day trip, JRS Singapore ascertained that there was a need to purchase new training aids, renovate the CPCs to allow for more natural lighting, and provide new uniforms, school bags and raincoats for the children. There was also a need to continuously train new teachers at the CPCs.
The mission trip enabled JRS Singapore to respond to the needs of the refugee children and make funding plans for the CPCs. The team was also able to spend precious days with the refugees, volunteers and Caritas Nepal staff.