Arts and crafts packs help young refugee children deal with stress
Refugees and internally displaced people, Theirworld
Theirworld has supported the distribution of early childhood materials to families in northern Greece.
Activity packs supported by Theirworld are helping young refugee children in Greece deal with stress and anxiety while developing their skills and creativity.
The early childhood packs include watercolour paints, coloured pens and other craft materials that children can use at home. Theirworld is working with Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI) in the northern towns of Polikastro and Axioupoli, where the packs are delivered by RTI’s Baytna Hubs partners.
Refugee families have welcomed them during Covid-19 restrictions. Children on the move already face huge challenges and uncertainty which can cause chronic anxiety and toxic stress.
Theirworld Project Manager Paula-Louise Eze-John said: “This is a stressful time for all children, particularly those from refugee families who have experienced displacement and trauma. The Theirworld packs help young children to deal with their anxieties while exploring their creativity and developing their skills.”
RTI has provided training and emotional support to hundreds of young people, as well as psychological support to more than 4,000 refugees and training for over 1,000 humanitarians working in the Greek refugee crisis.
Its Baytna (Arabic for “our home”) early childhood care programmes focus on children up to six to provide emotional support for refugee families alongside high-quality early years education.
This includes a community-led children’s space at Polikastro in Central Macedonia, which reopened on January 11 following Covid-related school closures across Greece.
In December, Their News told how RTI – supported by Theirworld – is hiring and training young refugees and migrants to ensure their communities in northern Greece have access to early childhood support. Theirworld’s work with RTI is funded thanks to players of the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
We also support education projects for refugee children in the Greek Aegean Islands. Again with the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Theirworld is working with the Education Cannot Wait fund to provide education to thousands of out-of-school children and youth and invest in innovative pilot programmes to bring additional support to the refugee children.
Education and mental health
Theirworld's online advocacy resource The Key features a special section on Education and Mental Health - demonstrating the benefits for children, families and their communities.