There are now more than 60 million refugees and internally displaced people.
Every 24 seconds, someone is displaced from their home.
1 in 110 people are refugees
Half of refugees are children.
This is the humanitarian crisis of our time.
Once food, shelter and clothing are more or less provided in a refugee camp, the next services that will be attempted to be provided are child friendly spaces and education. However, there are a few considerations that are crucial in order to to do this effectively.
Here’s what we know about the children.
Children can not learn if they don't feel safe.
Children who have endured years of war, violence loss and are now living in camps do not feel safe. Trauma does not stop when they get to camp.
The traumatized brain literally functions differently than the untraumatized brain.
These children have been out of school for years, if they have been at all.
According to Europol, over 10,000 children have gone missing after arriving in Europe since 2015. Tens of thousands more are traveling alone, living in camps and at significant risk of being trafficked into sex slavery and/or otherwise exploited.
Here's what we know about the volunteers
Independent crisis response volunteers come from all around the world. They have a wide variety of skills, strengths, experience levels and exposure to refugee camps, but the majority have zero experience and are not clinicians.
Most have limited, if any knowledge of how trauma informs behavior.
They need tools to effectively provide inclusive services that focus on addressing the fear instead of being distracted by the symptoms of fear ( e.g. anger, violence, property destruction, and other undesirable behaviors)
They need training to include children with severe behaviors and profound disabilities.
They need a lot of support to self regulate in the very difficult environment that is a refugee camp.
They require a basic understanding of the crisis as well as a cultural competency to gain trust of children and families.
Here's what we know about the camps
Refugee camps are unpredictable and needs change sometimes from one day to the next.
They pop up and get cleared out.
In regards to access, staying nimble and mobile without reducing the quality and rhythm of care is a necessary act of harm reduction.
Camps, squats and settlements are all unique in their infrastructure, culture, challenges and needs- they exist in various degrees of unacceptability.