Warm memories in times of darkness

The 6×6 autographs of those great people who make a difference to vulnerable children’s lives across the world have eventually been framed!

Very timely relief from the voices of isolation, discrimination and hatred that surround us at the moment.

Discussing strategies for refugee children in Vienna

One might be under the false impression that we can forget multiple disadvantage and severe trauma when visiting well developed services and a great city like Vienna. But problems find their way such as the rapidly rising number of refugee children here.

It was interesting to hear how specialist services rationalise their input; and how the SOS Children’s Villages had to respond in a short time by opening new care homes and appointing skilled staff. The highlight was clearly Hannes and his Psychology team based within Welfare Services – brave investment in the current climate, and plenty of innovation in engaging refugee and other vulnerable young people.

Art representation of resilience-building in low-income countries

They say that “one picture is worth 1,000 words”. A gifted artwork is certainly worth more!

What a clever way of the two artists capturing the workshop at the Anna Freud Centre in London last week. Who needs minutes or abstracts?

It’s all there: music, spirituality, faith, neural development, healing, even Theory of Change for organisations involved. Pleased with the WACIT football generous representation too – a positive spin on my emabarrasding own goal video…and has given me ideas where to have future meetings with stakeholders.

What did we learn in London about resilience-building in low-income countries?

Actually, an awful lot! Consistent approach to resilience as a systemic and dynamic process, a range of interventions in difficult conflict contexts, and steadily emerging evidence.

The mixed NGO, practice and academic participants gelled nicely, with colleagues increasingly combining roles and skills.

Some of the most important contributors globally were there, such as Mark Jordans from War Child in the Netherlands, Tasha Howe from US Humboldt State University, Sarah Hommel from Save the Children, and Jessica Deighton from the Anna Freud Centre just a few to mention – worth looking out for their work.

WACIT 6×6: Special autographs from special people around the world

Looking at the signed WACIT t-shirt while trying to make sense of the 6×6 and plan ahead, is very comforting. These were the key contacts and organisers, but they were so many more. And it is the anonymous staff and volunteers in the most adverse circumstances who deserve the praise.

So, while the WACIT t-shirts are having a good wash and rest, dear Hatice, Gura, Charles, Panagiotis, Mary, Joel, Norma, Kimmy, Amilton, Sandy and Niranjan, a huge THANKS and au revoir in 2017!