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Psychosocial Support

In war zones and refugee camps, researchers are putting resilience interventions to the test

Science 4 June 2018

In 2015, in the name of science, more than 800 teenage boys and girls in northern Jordan each allowed 100 strands of hair to be snipped from the crowns of their heads. Roughly half the teens were Syrian refugees, the other half Jordanians living in the area. The hair, molecular biologist Rana Dajani explained to the youngsters, would act as a biological diary. Chemicals embedded inside would document the teens’ stress levels before and after a program designed to increase psychological resilience.

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Spreading hope through education among Syrian refugee communities in Lebanon

The National (UAE) 1 August 2017

As the Syrian conflict continues, many families make the risk-laden journey to one of Syria’s neighbouring countries. The UNHCR estimates that more than five million families have fled Syria in search of peace and stability. Lebanon is one of the countries that continues to witness a massive influx of refugees. These refugees are scattered all over the country.

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Q&A: EU aid commissioner Christos Stylianides

DevEx 10 March 2017

QAYYARAH, Iraq — The parents at Jad’ah camp for displaced Iraqi civilians were full of mixed emotions this week as they met EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. They were overjoyed to see their children toting blue UNICEF backpacks after after two to three years living under the harsh control of Islamic State.

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How to Help Refugees Recover from Trauma

Al Fanar Media 27 January 2017

This article is the second part of a two-part series. The first article, Refugee Youth Traumatized by War: Overwhelmed, Understudied, examined research on the mental health of traumatized youth.

Psychologists and researchers have developed evidence-based treatments to help those who are trying to improve the mental health of traumatized young refugees.

But a shortage of mental-health professionals working with refugees makes these methods difficult to roll out.

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The impact of humanitarian emergencies on the prevalence of violence against children

Taylor & Francis Online 9 January 2017

Little is known about the patterns and mechanisms by which humanitarian emergencies may exacerbate violence against children. In this article, we propose using the ecological framework to examine the impact of humanitarian emergencies on interpersonal violence against children. We consider the literature that supports this framework and suggest future directions for research to fill identified gaps in the framework. The relationship between humanitarian emergencies and violence against children depends on risk factors at multiple levels, including a breakdown of child protection systems, displacement, threats to livelihoods, changing gender roles, changing household composition, overcrowded living conditions, early marriage, exposure to conflict or other emergency events, and alcohol abuse. The empirical evidence supporting the proposed emergency/violence framework is limited by cross-sectional study designs and a propensity to predominantly examine individual-level determinants of violence, especially exposure to conflict or emergency events. Thus, there is a pressing need to contextualize the relationship between conflict or emergency events and violence against children within the wider ecological and household dynamics that occur during humanitarian emergencies. Ultimately, this will require longitudinal observations of children, families and communities from before the emergency through recovery and improvements to ongoing global surveillance systems. More complete data will enable the humanitarian community to design effective, appropriate and well-targeted interventions.

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Teachers struggling after surge of refugees, U of W education expert says

CBC News 3 January 2017

For teachers across Canada, the past year brought new challenges as thousands of refugee children entered the classroom.

More than 20,000 of the Syrian refugees who have settled in Canada are under the age of 18, and the trials for teachers range from language barriers to trauma, according to Jan Stewart, a professor in the faculty of education at the University of Winnipeg.

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Sesame Street Is Coming To Refugee Camps

FastCoExist 31 May 2016

A Syrian four-year-old girl in a refugee camp might have gone to preschool before her family was forced to leave home—but once inside a camp, there’s rarely any opportunity for young children to learn. Now Sesame Street wants to begin to change that, with the help of some Muppets. Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have partnered to start developing educational content for preschool-aged kids living in refugee camps.

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EU, UNICEF to restore quake damaged schools in Nepal

Business Standard 2 February 2016

The EU and the UNICEF have joined hands to implement a project worth 4 million euros to help restore education for one million children affected by the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal last year. “The project worth 4 million euro includes construction of 650 transitional learning centres, provision of essential learning materials in the newly established centres as well as psychosocial counselling training to teachers in nine earthquake affected districts of Gorkha, Kavrepalanchowk, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap, Rasuwa, Sindhuli and Sindhupalchowk,” a statement issued by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nepal office, said today.

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Competition Seeks to Develop Education App for Syrian Children Fleeing Conflict

ReliefWeb 29 January 2016

A Norway-led coalition today announced the launch of a 15 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately US$1.7 million) competition to help displaced Syrian children continue their education during the protracted conflict. The EduApp4Syria competition will select up to five initial winners to develop a smartphone application that can build foundational literacy skills in Arabic and improve psychosocial well-being for Syrian refugee children aged five to 10. Up to two applications will be chosen for worldwide release after comprehensive development and testing.

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Nigeria : deux jeunes filles kamikazes font 15 morts dans un marché de Kano

Jeune Afrique 19 November 2015

Quelques heures après l’explosion de Yola qui a provoqué la mort d’une trentaine de personnes, la ville de Kano a été à son tour frappée par un double attentat à la bombe mercredi. Bilan : quinze personnes tuées et plus de 50 blessées.

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Schools key to helping Syrian refugee children settle in

The Toronto Star 18 November 2015

The ones younger than 8 may never have been to school at all. For the thousands of Syrian refugee children headed for Canada’s public schools, the challenge will be more than just learning English and making friends. Many will struggle with the concept of school itself, of literacy even in Arabic, of studying in a building that won’t likely be bombed, and feeling safe enough, at last, to think about learning.

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Syrian Refugee Children’s Mental Health, Educational Needs Unmet

Philanthropy News Digest 19 October 2015

Approximately half of the more than four million refugees who have fled Syria since 2011 are under the age of 18, and many face substantial disruptions in and barriers to schooling, a report from the Migration Policy Institute finds. The report, The Educational and Mental Health Needs of Syrian Refugee Children (32 pages, PDF), found that during the 2014-15 school year, an estimated 51 percent of school-age Syrian refugees were not enrolled in school. Enrollment rates ranged from 68 percent in Jordan to 30 percent in Turkey, where children cannot enroll in school until they demonstrate proficiency in Turkish, to 20 percent in Lebanon, where instruction is in French and English as well as Arabic.

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First day of school in Syria: ‘With what pupils have seen, aggression is common’

The Guardian 15 September 2015

Ghina al-Imam is six and has adorable bunches in her hair, but she was sobbing quietly and her face was streaked with tears on her first day at school in Damascus. The teachers were considering whether to call her mother – her mobile phone number is pinned carefully to the child’s blue tunic – but by the mid-morning break they had managed to coax her out to the playground to join the other girls and boys.

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After #NepalQuake, Children Speak Out

Save the Children 24 July 2015

On April 25, a devastating earthquake hit the country of Nepal. It damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and affected more than three million children, causing immeasurable trauma and loss. Now, three months later, communities are slowly but surely picking up the pieces and starting to build back. The children of Nepal, in particular, are thinking about the future and have important advice to share with those who want to help.

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Le Népal a besoin de votre aide

Banque Mondiale 29 May 2015

Maintenant, vous devez tous avoir entendu parler du gigantesque séisme et des nombreuses répliques qui ont ravagé le Népal ces derniers jours. À l’heure où je rédige ces lignes, je sens une nouvelle secousse, 36 heures après le choc initial.

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