WACIT free psychoeducation resources: More frequent than London buses!

This super work is coming to fruition – thanks to Priya today! Of course, this resource is at the heart of the programme and our own hearts. It needed almost three years of sweat and tears with so many of you to be tested, yet look so simple (www.wacit.org) – from the Jakarta orphanages in Bahasa language to the humble school at Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda, people have embraced itsResilience Indonesia principles and used them to help others. Refugee graduates resilience framework:




WACIT free psychoeducation resources are beginning to arrive!

Logo WACITThanks to Frances, who has kick started an exciting series of free psychoeducation resources for caregivers and frontline practitioners in contact with vulnerable children in low- and middle-income countries, but not only. Hopefully, these will help raise awareness, introduce key principles and make some impact together with other training initiatives that are following shortly.

The first resource is particularly related to education, but will be useful across settings too. It can be downloaded from the WACIT website:



We would welcome your feedback, suggestions for more resources, and sharing your expertise!






The mandate to keep WACIT funky

After a few days at Glastonbury festival and getting this lovely mug from our graduating student Shezray, I vow to keep the intimacy and edginess of the programme – who said that academic rigour and funkiness are mutually exclusive?

WACIT Uganda: The two-level training finally arrived

Introducing different levels of training for different service layers is relatively new  in child mental health anyway. When available, these training levels are separate or, at best, parallel. Sometimes having no training precedent paradoxically eases innovation.

All that had been missing was a team to operate on the interface, which is what the Children on the Edge team did, with their primary focus on child protection in disadvantaged communities, and gradually expanding in therapeutic areas. In that respect, the first child trauma workshop was not that different to previous variations. 

It became particularly exciting at the end of that workshop when we reflected what would be relevant – and crucially, how – for the community child protection volunteers. When they came for the second child trauma workshop, they expressed their own expectations and fears, but we went through the day seamlessly. Using their own material helped, and me taking the back seat for the COTE leads to facilitate was even more gratifying.

The next challenge is to build on both levels without losing their integration.

“How would you engage parents?” “I would watch their non-verbals” – An amazing group of child protection volunteers from Uganda slum communities

There is so much to advocate for this advanced child protection model by Children on The Edge and the community volunteers. They come from the most deprived communities and their first task was to educate against child sacrifice – this is how far they have gone, to be in a position to train on preventive and resilience-building strategies.

They were proud of their achievements, thoughtful and reflective. But this was the best answer that you do not often get from highly qualified professionals. Having to deal with the most difficult to engage parents, they gave good examples of prioritising rapport and trust building. Adjusting strategies according to how parents appear in their interaction was not what I expected – intuition, natural wisdom, call it what you like…

WACIT Uganda: Safety brings new challenges in the slums

One would expect young children starting pre- or primary school to be anxious or reluctant to attend at the beginning. Yet, as in a similar context in the Karachi slums, there were the opposite stories of children feeling safer with their teacher and not wanting to go home – the paradox being the teacher taking them rather than the other way round.

This is the huge achievement of the Early Child Development Centre and Children on The Edge, but also the next challenge of generating change amidst overwhelming needs and disadvantage. This is the only way to build resilience, whatever the barriers: routines in healthy eating, routines, learning and social interactions, as opposed to lack of sanitation and sometimes abandonment…

WACIT Uganda: Early intervention in the face of slum adversity

Starting with child protection in pretty challenging circumstances, it is amazing what Children On The Edge have achieved in a short period. Children’s social interaction at the Early Child Development Centre was one of several indications.

Considering their lack of life structure, exposure to violence and transitional circumstances as the families could be evicted and have to move at any time, they followed structure and routines, learned and played as in any other pre-school. Their latest game was making fun of their visitor’s glasses!