Promoting the psychosocial wellbeing of refugee children in Greece
2017 - 2018
The small island of Lesbos can be considered Europe’s front door and epicenter of the migrant crisis in Greece. Lesvbos presently hosts around 8,942 refugees fleeing armed conflict and persecution; three times its designated capacity. Of these, more than 40% are children mainly coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Trapped in a political and bureaucratic limbo, these children are left in refugee camps with very limited resources for an indefinite period of time.
This stressful situation of uncertainty only adds to an already traumatizing experience of conflict, displacement, potential loss of family and the perilous journey to Greece. Furthermore, the complete lack of social integration and plans for their insertion into the education system heavily prevents the wellbeing and psychosocial development of these children, threatening to turn them into another lost generation.
In partnership with ERCI, we aim to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of refugee children at the Municipality Hospitality Centre for Refugees and Migrants “Kara Tepe”. Kara Tepe is one of Lesbos’ two refugee camps and 55% of its population are children.
This program targets children aged 4 to 11, providing supportive and relevant non-formal education and recreational activities such as expressive arts and design, literacy and life skills. The activities have been planned so as to help restore a sense of structure and normality to the children’s otherwise highly risky and trauma-exposed context. A mental health and psychosocial specialist experienced with refugees will train and supervise a team of psychologists, social workers, protection officers and educators to lead the activities and interpreters will be involved to aid their planning and implementation.
refugee children will be involved in psychosocial activities
non-formal weekly educational and recreational activities carried out
mental health and psychosocial specialist will train and supervise a multidisciplinary team
volunteers of the core team trained in child protection and psychological first aid (PFA)
children, families and communities supported