In celebration of National Children’s Month, UNICEF Philippines’ Auction for Action 2013 brings together over 90 artists in art, design, furniture and jewelry for Supervised Neighborhood Play Program (SNP), a unique education program that will benefit children and give them access to early learning.
Curated and presented by UNICEF Special Advocate for Children Daphne Oseña Paez, the online auction is a product of UNICEF and Daphne’s collaboration to bring the world of art, furniture and design together, in line with her advocacy on children.
This year’s auction has more artists and designers contributing for a specific program on education, Supervised Neighborhood Play. It is a simple, low-cost and easy-to-organize home-based early learning program where trained day care workers or parent volunteers gather young children in a house, a shaded play area or under a tree for two to three hours, every day for at least ten months to help children learn through organized play. UNICEF supports the SNP program in remote, conflict or disaster-affected communities and among informal settlements located in urban and rural areas.
Parents are generally unaware that various forms of play actually keep children healthy and sharpen a child’s skills in listening, self-expression, observation and other skills for beginning literacy. Playing, both structured and unstructured, lays the foundation for a child’s development of future learning and life skills. It helps children develop their knowledge, experience, curiosity and confidence; develop language skills, thinking, planning, organizing and decision-making. Children learn language quickly and easily through hearing and singing songs, having stories told or read to them, repeating rhymes and playing games.
Studies in the Philippines show that only three out of ten children under six years of age have access to day care or any form of early learning. The situation is more challenging in remote and conflict–affected areas where access to early learning are much lower due to inadequate resources, difficult terrain and low awareness on the importance of early childhood education.