Building character strengths, wellbeing and resilience in refugee children: Evaluating the outcomes of a group-based psychosocial support intervention in Uganda
Preventive psychosocial support interventions can improve psychosocial wellbeing and promote resilience of conflict-affected children. Yet few studies have evaluated the outcomes or effectiveness of such interventions. War Child aims to address this gap by evaluating the outcomes of Team Up, a movement-based psychosocial support intervention for refugee youth.
War Child (WCH) works to improve the resilience and wellbeing of children affected by violence and armed conflict. In partnership with UNICEF and Save the Children, WCH launched the Team Up program in 2016. Designed for schools and Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs)—spaces set up by agencies to support children during emergencies—Team Up consists of low-intensity recreational activities structured around eight psychosocial themes. These activities help children develop skills and behaviors to manage their anger, resolve conflicts, and develop respectful and friendly interpersonal relations. The easy-access intervention aims to enable children to better process their emotions, increase feelings of joy and optimism, and foster collaboration, respect, and friendships among children. Having been implemented and evaluated in refugee centers in the Netherlands, TeamUp is currently underway in refugee camps in Uganda.
Directed by Dr. Mark Jordans, this project will evaluate the outcomes of TeamUp. The team hypothesizes that compared to children in the control group, TeamUp participants will show improved resilience and psychosocial wellbeing. This will provide evidence for potential impact and inform scale-up in similar low-resource settings.
Outputs will include a peer-reviewed article and policy report to guide psychosocial program implementation in humanitarian settings. The ultimate goal is for TeamUp to become the intervention of choice for implementation in emergencies throughout the humanitarian sector.