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Refugee parenting

Refugee parenting

All children fleeing conflict are vulnerable to abuse of different kinds: sexual and labour exploitation including trafficking, being sold and being coerced into marriage, in their homes, communities, society or in places where migrants and/or refugees reside.

The IENE programme (Intercultural Education for Nurses – including all health and social care workers – in Europe) comprises of a number of projects funded by the European Commission. The IENE programme primarily addresses the educational needs of nurses and other healthcare workers providing services to all people from different cultures and languages. The eight IENE projects have developed a variety of tools to increase the knowledge and skills of cultural competence and compassion in health and social care service providers.

A new project (IENE8), entitled, “Empowering migrant and refugee families with parenting skills”, coordinated by the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), will kick off on Tuesday 30 October 2018 in Limassol where the first project meeting will take place. The new project will focus on the parenting needs of refugees whilst in transit and after they have settled in refugee camps.

All children fleeing conflict, especially those travelling alone, are vulnerable to abuse of different kinds: sexual and labour exploitation including trafficking, being sold and being coerced into marriage, in their homes, communities, society or in places where migrants and/or refugees reside – including reception centres, refugee camps or informal settlements at source, transit and destination countries. There is an emerging need for understanding the diverse conditions of migration, how they may influence children and what professionals and volunteers can do that effectively and positively affect the well-being of these families. Thus, there is a need to protect and prevent unwanted situations within the migrant and refugee families, focusing on children.

Understanding the impact of migration on children’s and families within their own community and host country is a multi-factorial and transnational issue. It requires considering not only the cultural origins of the parents but their own migration histories. The IENE projects highlighted the need for training of health workers, volunteers on transcultural issues aiming to provide culturally competent and compassionate care and it particularly refers to psychological support.

The IENE 8 project aims to provide education and training to professionals and volunteers working with migrants and refugees with regards to parenting skills, health care of the family and psychological support. It aims to enable them by providing support, knowledge and empowerment all of which will help them to nurture, protect and educate their children under difficult circumstances.

The project will complement the existing IENE 6 project, which focused on developing a knowledge hub (KHub) for nurses and other health professionals and volunteers who are dealing with or will be dealing with migrants and refugees from the current massive waves of displaced people which are reaching Europe and who are experiencing massive traumas and tragedies in their endeavours to flee to a safe and ‘better’ place for themselves and their families.
You can explore the IENE 6 Knowledge Hub here and stay up-to-date with the progress of IENE 8, or find out about existing IENE projects, by visiting the website.

The IENE programme was initiated by the Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health (RCTSH) at Middlesex University, headed by Professor Irena Papadopoulos. The RCTSH co-ordinated the first 6 projects.

Get all the latest news from the centre by following them on Twitter or visiting their website www.cultureandcompassion.com.

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