El Niño Phenomenon: Save the Children provides spaces for the protection of children and adolescents in the face of a potential emergency

  • January 11, 2024
  • Area: Climate change and DRM, Humanitarian aid, Protection
  • Delivery was made to municipalities in Piura and Lambayeque, regions highly vulnerable to climatic events

As part of the preparations for the El Niño Phenomenon, Save the Children delivered two “Friendly Spaces” to municipalities in Piura and Lambayeque. These spaces are temporary protective environments for girls and boys in the event of an emergency, such as the one expected due to the El Niño Phenomenon.

The so-called “Friendly Spaces” are part of the innovative strategy for the protection of children and adolescences that Save the Children implements in emergency or disaster contexts. The aim is to help the affected population process negative emotions, reduce the negative impact of anxiety and stress caused by these critical situations, and promote positive coping strategies.

The delivery consists of a special tent designed to accommodate about 20 children at a time, promoting a safe environment where they can express themselves and learn to process their emotions. These services are directed to three differentiated groups: children aged 4 to 7, 8 to 12, and teenagers aged 13 to 17.

Additionally, thanks to a care protocol designed by specialists from Save the Children, the personnel responsible for managing the space can identify children and adolescents at risk of neglect (for example, due to the loss of family members, exposure to violence, or abuse associated with the emergency, among others).

In January 2024, Save the Children will train the personnel in charge of these spaces in both regions to apply appropriate approaches for girls, boys, and adolescents. This training will be conducted by the Technical Advisor for Emergency Protection of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of Save the Children.

The friendly spaces also integrate animation and socialization strategies that encourage the participation of children and adolescents, involving their families to create a support network that allows for containment and overcoming crises. The negative impact of the emergency can be mitigated when the child interacts in an affectionate and warm environment.

“During emergencies, we must protect girls, boys, and adolescents. They need their families, communities, and authorities to prepare to face the effects of the El Niño Phenomenon, considering that the need for protection is both physical and emotional. This ensures that their health and development do not come to a halt” said Marizabel Alagón, National Operations Coordinator of Save the Children in Peru.

The “Friendly Spaces” were delivered to the district municipalities of San Miguel del Faique (Piura) and Íllimo (Lambayeque), both regions highly vulnerable to the effects of El Niño.

During the delivery event, Save the Children emphasized that local governments play a key role in emergency response and the protection of children. Therefore, multiple actions are taken to strengthen capacities and provide assistance.


The delivery of the friendly spaces also took place within the framework of the Week for the Rights of Childhood, commemorating the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) and the approval of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).

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