Asia West Pacific

Weaving Friendship by Playing

By Nanik

Since the Covid-19 pandemic spread in Indonesia, schools have been closed. We closed on March 16, 2020 for an unspecified time. Until now, children around Peace Place have not been able to move freely. Activities that were usually carried out on Friday afternoons have stopped. Some children come to play in the playground. They wash their hands and remind their friends to wash their hands when they arrive and before they leave. When they go home, they ask when they can come play at Joglo again.

Before the pandemic struck, we had started an activity called “Weaving Friendship by Playing,” which had about 15-17 children attending for about two hours. They consisted of children who lived around Peace Place, Joglo children, and Joglo alumni from the ages of 5-11 years.

We use AVP’s main activities of stopping, opening, main activities, playing and closing. When the children arrived early, some of them asked to lead the activity. They know the sequence of activities and can lead very well. It was very visible that they understood the agreements because during the process of playing they would remind each other when someone put down a friend, or when someone was talking too loudly.

Parents are very enthusiastic and supportive of this activity. They feel sad, confused, and concerned, when they see their children so busy with school lessons and religious activities, and then on their free time they just play on their cell phones or watch television. Everyone is looking forward to when we can gather together again to experience the joy of a peaceful life together.