More than 1 billion children, almost a sixth of the total world population, were living in conflict or areas emerging from war, according to 2009 estimates.
An estimated 2 million children have died in armed conflict, and three times as many have been seriously injured or permanently disabled, according to the Machel report on the impact of armed conflict on children. 18 million children are refuges or displaced, between 500 million and 1.5 billion children are affected by violence each year, and around 300,000 children has been recruited as child soldiers.
In addition, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, avalanches and transportation disasters affect hundred thousands of children each year. With global warming, the numbers of affected children are expected to rise.
Many of the children who are affected by either war or disasters develop traumatic symptoms and post traumatic stress disorders after experiencing life-threatening situations. Displacement from homes, separation from families and disruption to schooling all affect childrens’ mental health. Given the increasing numbers of children who are affected, it’s important to provide evidence-based and effective resources.
The Children and War Foundation was established based on a need for simple screening measures and evidence-based interventions for traumatised children after war and disaster situations. Since 2000, the Foundation has developed several screening measures, manuals, trained more than 400 intervenors and supported research projects that evaluate our treatment tools.
The manuals which aim to reduce traumatic reactions and give children better coping strategies have been widely used around the world after wars and disasters. They have been developed to reach a large numbers of children in a short space of time.
Our manuals are designed to be delivered by personnel who are not necessarily very experienced in child mental health, since there may be a shortage of qualified health personnel during war and disaster situations. However, the manuals are primarily intended for use by teachers, youth workers, pedagogues, psychologists, counsellors, community leaders or other childcare professionals after some preliminary training. We strongly advise that people using the manuals should have some training in them before hand. We have trained a number of senior trainers in London and Bergen who can do this.
These came about due to a gap in existing measures available to professionals and have been developed through gathering world experts, who have met and developed resources as a result. To ensure these manuals are effective and evidence-based, the Foundation supports projects that evaluate the manuals. As a result, the manuals are continuously revised.
Since many of the conflicts take place in developing countries, the manuals are available free of charge thanks to the generosity of our donors. However, we only want trained personnel to use the Teaching Recovery Manual and thus we make it available to those attending an organised training. It has been translated into Arabic, French, Swedish and Ukrainian languages. If you are interested in pursuing a training contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The “Writing for recovery manual” that we have developed can be downloaded by clicking here. The “Children and grief. Teaching life skills” manual has undergone testing with positive results and we plan to launch trainings in the fall of 2017/spring 2018. We insist that those who use our material send their outcome to us. Please note that in order to continue our work to develop new methods, we rely on donations.