Restart Play


Short Description of the Project

In March 2017, WWO Bulgaria launched “Restart Play” – a new partner project with Caritas Bulgaria. The project serves refugee children ages 1 to 12. Three times a week, children have the opportunity to learn through play with the help of two play specialists and WWO’s educational programs. The children’s mothers attend Bulgarian language classes while their children play. The mothers receive updates from the specialists about their children’s successes and challenges.

The project will take place in three stages, which are determined by the characteristics of the target group and the partner organization’s activities with the parents of the children.

Project Location

Refugee Integration Center “Saint Anna”, Caritas Bulgaria, Sofia

Project Goals

Primary Goal

Create a safe environment conducive to child development and learning for refugee children.

Stage 1

(March – June 2017)
Children gain skills for participating in structured individual and group activities which support child development through play.

Stage 2

(July – September 2017)
Provide each child with an opportunity to participate in group activities promoting language and social development through the programs “Music in Motion” and “Play the Story”.

Stage 3

(September – December 2017)
Promote the individual development of each child through the “Do-Say-Play” approach.

Target Group

Children ages 0 to 12 years from families with refugee or humanitarian status using the services of the Refugee Integration Center “Saint Anna”. Most of the children come from large families from Syria and Iraq.


2-hour group play sessions take place three times a week. During the sessions the children’s mothers attend Bulgarian language classes. If necessary for the adaptation process, children may get in touch with their mothers.

Leading principles in the work with the children:
• taking into consideration each child’s unique development stage;
• respect for cultural differences;
• parent involvement;
Each play session begins and ends with a specific activity which creates a sense of predictability and security for the children. The activities are determined by the number of children and their age groups. The number of children in a play session varies based on their parents’ desire and ability to visit the “Saint Anna” Refugee Integration Center.