8 ways to create activities for children in a safe environment – part 4
The described methodology of organising activities for children in free, safe and inclusive environments was the outcome of the “Playground Without Borders” project. The project that took place in Tschierv, Switzerland (2014) aimed to gather organisations working with children in a joint project with the idea to create a week-long programme for children fostering education, creativity and inclusion in drug-free environments.
Here are 8 steps on how to do that (continued):
4. Travel: How to get the children safely to an event
– Check for visas and visa regime
If you are organizsing an international activity, it is better to check for the visa regime as soon as possible. Nowadays it is easy to use the Internet to do so, as most of the countries have their regimes made available online. Having in mind that the children would be travelling together with the leader, the amount of paperwork to do and documents to provide can be significant.
– Check for the conditions that apply for international insurance package for the country where you travel
Here, we refer to travel and/or health insurance. Depending on the country where the activity is taking place, the conditions can vary. For example, if the activity is taking place in another EU country, then it is simple to solve this by obtaining a health insurance card from the national health insurance services. For some other countries, providing health insurance confirmation can also be a condition for issuing a visa.
– Obtain parents’ / guardians’ permit in writing
It is useful to have written parental permission for the child to travel to the country where the activity is taking place, in the indicated time and accompanied by the indicated leader. Having this document ready is a safety measure as well, against further questions from the authorities or airlines on why the child is travelling without its parent(s)/guardian(s).
– Organise a meeting with the parent(s) / guardian(s) where all the details will be explained and clarified
Make sure to have regular communication with the parent(s) / guardian(s). As an organiser, it is important that you are perceived as the channel through which they can get all the information they need. At the same time, it is more efficient if you organise meetings, since parents and guardians will naturally have questions, which sometimes can be repetitive, and it can save time if you answer them all at once.
It is best to organize at least three meetings – first, to introduce the details of the activity in advance, before it happens; second, a meeting right before the activity happens; and third, a meeting to reflect on and evaluate the activity, after it has been completed
– Create an emergency contact package
You can create a simple phone list, including the contacts from the hosts, leaders and head organisers. Indicate the availability and the roles of all the contacts. When you are organising a longer activity, either in your home country or abroad, even if the parents / guardians don’t contact you, it is useful to inform them that you have arrived and that the activities are going well.
Author: Vasilka Lalevska
Photo Credit: Photo by Virginia State Parks https://www.flickr.com/photos/vastateparksstaff/7489095166/
2nd part Organisation/Logistical preparation: https://www.childinthecity.org/2016/02/12/8-ways-to-create-activities-for-children-in-a-safe-environment-2/
3rd part Dynamics of the organising team: Organisation and communication: