"Children come from countries that are at war, where they have experienced extreme levels of violence and trauma. Rather than receiving care and protection in Europe, they are instead subjected to ongoing fear, stress and episodes of further violence" (Dr. Declan Barry, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF’s) medical coordinator in Greece).
In response to the burning of Moria last year in September and the consecutive increase of traumatized and mentally unwell children, Medical Volunteers International (MVI) has established a project to psychosocially support children and their families who are facing the harsh living conditions on the island of Lesvos. On the grounds of One Happy Family, we have started a program, which helps children to cope with the current situation by focusing on building up resilience, strengths and providing helpful psycho-education. With our program we work closely together with Doctors Without Borders and other medical NGOs on the island.
The project has started with around 30 children and their parents coming once a week to our groups for psycho-education and therapeutical and recreational activities. In the last months it has been restructured and evolved further. Carlotta from Italy has joined the team as the new medical coordinator in February. Being a psychologist with a lot of working experience with traumatized children, she has implemented a well structured 8 weeks course with different workshops and activities for children and their parents emphasizing on resilience and emotional regulation. Moreover we were able to engage more translators from different countries. Like this we are able to treat a larger number of children from different nationalities now. Also we have increased the number of trainings and supervisions, making the project as sustainable and community based as possible.
We are very happy and excited that the project we put so much love and effort into is running so well and is getting great feedback from both, the children and their families as well as volunteers joining our team. With your financial support we have been able to keep it running for the last 5 months. As we would love to continue our work, we are asking you to help us ensuring the funding of another 6 months. The money goes directly into salaries, transportation and materials for our groups.
With gratitude and thankfulness to all the (future) donators,
The MVI Children Support Team