- Created: Tuesday, 17 January 2017 15:16
- Written by Mary Nolan
I was very touched by an article I read in The Guardian last week. It concerned a British woman of Syrian extraction whose PhD thesis explored ways to support families living in war zones and refugee camps. In conversation with many refugee parents, she became aware that most, if not all, were very concerned about negative emotional and behavioural changes in their children. They wanted advice and support. The researcher worked with psychologists at the University of Manchester to produce a leaflet explaining the normal responses of children to trauma, and making suggestions about how parents could look after themselves and their children. The suggestions were elementary – talk to your children, read to them, cuddle them, praise them - but not so elementary when parents’ principal concern is day to day survival. The leaflet was distributed inside the wrappers of 3,000 flatbreads delivered to families and caregivers in northern Syria. It is now available online in various languages and is about to be distributed with newspapers in Pakistan.