School mental health literacy is growing east, west and across

Meeting the Partnership for Children central and eastern European collaborators in Prague gave me a clear picture of the trends in school mental health and literacy.

As in other (e.g. humanitarian) contexts, mental health is making slow but steady strides. It often starts through motivated headteachers and stakeholders; but, once programmes are off the ground, teachers and children see their value, and rolling out across the school curriculum.


Why wait for the Leaders of tomorrow? They are Leading already!

It is so exciting to wait for the arrival of Dr Saima Ali from Karachi University in Pakistan later today,

on a prestigious Rutherford Commonwealth Scholarship programme for a year. It was an extremely competitive process across all academic fields, which speaks for our awardee’s pedigree. Our task in this year? To facilitate a leadership programme and research strategy for years to come.

But awards and scholarships are mere tips of the iceberg. I had experienced these qualities in real life at the Psychology Department in Karachi. This was a current, not future leader. The future leaders were the students in front of us in the photo. They were inquisitive, critical and funny. All more so, for being young women fighting their own battles. Unleashing their potential will be the REAL challenge of our programme. Which is even more exciting!

WACIT training was always alive, now the first module is live online!

Jakarta workshopLots of technical hiccups, but we got there. It was a challenge to put the WACIT foundation training together as an online module. One has to look at materials the other way round, as if participants are in the room. Yet, it was easy to imagine all several hundred of those I met in the last three years, then try to remember how they responded when adapting the interactive tools for this E-Learn Child Trauma Awareness module.

Thanks to Stevie for persevering along with her own modules. Let’s keep on eye on adapting and hopefully adding more modules. Feedback greatly appreciated:



Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda: New school materials and all that we take for granted

At one level, it was wonderful to see the new school materials raised by Action for African Refugees, led by Emma and Luciana, only within a few days. Yet, some sadness at the same time that crowdfunding was required for what is a basic human right, that these materials

will only reach a small minority of refugee children, and that refugee adolescents have pay school fees which virtually rules them out…

Top-up schooling in a New Delhi slum

The slum popped up out of nowhere, bringing with it all the usual vulnerabilities for children. The local school is available, but attendance is not great and mainstream education can be a long haul for children with patchy development and emotional dysregulation.

So, this local NGO equally popped up in response to need. Regular after-school tuition and emotional literacy – a colourful oasis, rather pertinent on the eve of India Republic Day!