Conventional wisdom is that the health of young children is not at great risk from COVID-19, but, in the Global South, the space constraints imposed on young children by the pandemic pose a significant risk to the stimulation on which brain development thrives. Early childhood development is further jeopardised by the pandemic’s impact on caregivers.
Little colourful sanctuaries, shaded by bamboo verandahs, and walls covered in handpainted flowers. 30 tiny children under six years of age laughing, playing, tumbling over each other. The bells of the tambourine, the chanting of tiny voices singing songs. These are Humanitarian Play Labs in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.