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Heal together

heal together greece
Every child has the right to A safe place to learn,
Every child deserves The best start in life

About the project

Challenge

Refugee children arriving in new countries are often affected by stress and trauma. Theirworld partners with local organisations to offer early years education and emotional support to help children and caregivers settle in their host countries.

Approach

In Greece, Theirworld works with Amna Refugee Healing Network, formerly Refugee Trauma Initiative, to help extend its Baytna Hubs programme to more partner organisations, using a sustainable approach to the delivery of early childhood education.

health together theirworld greece
Impact

Over the course of a year, up to 250 children and up to 60 caregivers will benefit from classes that promote better mental health and inclusive learning for young children.

A traumatic journey

For refugee children, arriving in an unfamiliar country is just the latest step in an often traumatic journey. They might have experienced conflict, emergency or disaster, and have a great need for a sense of stability and emotional support.

This is the scenario for around 75 million children every year. In Greece, Theirworld works with local organisation Amna Refugee Healing Network to help young children cope with the challenges of displacement and get access to a quality education.

Amna’s Baytna (Arabic for “our home”) programme focuses on providing early years education to children up to six years old, as well as helping improve caregivers’ mental health through creative exercises. By introducing children and caregivers to sessions around arts & crafts and storytelling, the Baytna programme provides a much-needed respite from the stress of their everyday circumstances.

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Early childhood education is crucial to all children - but especially for child refugees, many of whom have suffered significant trauma. However, access to quality early learning is often extremely limited, poorly resourced and chronically under-funded.

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See A Baytna Hub in Athens

Theirworld partner Amna Refugee Healing Network created Baytna Hubs to provide early years education to refugee children.

The hubs will reach over 200 children and up to 60 caregivers, promoting mental health through early learning and creative exercises such as arts and crafts and storytelling.

Encouraging creativity

The more education a refugee child receives, the less likely they are to live in poverty and poor health in the future. Programmes like Baytna lay the foundation for children to become acquainted with learning, improve their socialisation and, one day, reach their full potential.

In Amna we’re working alongside an experienced partner. Theirworld has previously helped the organisation train refugee youth in Greece to deliver psychosocial and healing support to their own communities. Amna has itself provided psychosocial support to more than 4,000 refugees and has trained over 1,000 humanitarians working in the Greek refugee crisis.

The Amna team’s expertise in incorporating play, relaxation, storytelling and arts and crafts into refugee support makes it ideally placed to deliver programmes like Baytna.

Theirworld has invested in the organisation’s work to help it expand the Baytna programme further. Baytna Hubs are created in partnership with local community organisations that have the ability to deliver the programme and share Amna’s commitment to early childhood education.

For example, during Covid-19 restrictions, Theirworld was able to offer activity packs through Baytna Hubs, meaning isolated children could enjoy watercolour paints, coloured pens and other craft materials that encourage their creativity. Resources such as these can offer a much-needed mental escape for young children who have already been through so much.

By helping Amna increase the capacity of Baytna Hubs, Theirworld is investing in the future of refugee children who deserve the educational opportunities so many other young people enjoy.

Help us ensure every child has a safe place to learn.

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