With Hurricane Harvey leaving thousands of people displaced and homeless in the US, entire families have had to seek refuge in shelters.


Children’s charity Save the Children wanted to make the trauma of being evacuated more bearable for the youngest victims of the hurricane and decided to create a special “child-friendly” area at one of the shelters.


The non-government organisation has created one of its largest ever child-friendly spaces at the NRG Centre in Houston, with assistance from the local non-profit organisation Baker Ripley.


The area is cordoned off from the rest of the centre with construction netting and barricades, according to Mashable.com.


The aim of the space is to provide an area that is both safe for children and suitable to play and have fun in during their time at the centre.



The charity have provided books, art materials, building blocks and games to amuse the children.


Artwork has been pinned to the walls to make the grey building more colourful and welcoming.


Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, senior director for U.S. emergencies for Save the Children, says that these little touches mean a lot to the displaced kids.


"When children come into shelters, they’re always kind of grey, dark, monotone environments," she said. "When they see the colours and the enthusiasm and energy of our staff, they know this is the place for me”.


The spaces are intended to provide both children and parents with relief, as parents can avail of a shower or a rest while the children play safely in the designated area.


De Marrais says it can take some time for some traumatised children to feel comfortable and safe, even in these kid-friendly zones.



She recalls seeing a boy this week who spent his first day there at the children’s area curled up on a mat and wearing a hoodie over his head.


On the second day, she says he finally removed the hoodie and began to play with other kids. 


We are in awe of the wonderful work Save the Children are doing and no doubt their intervention will help these traumatised children recover from their terrible ordeal.