There were several celebrations on the eve of the child psychology symposium. Ten years since Sajida’s visionary conception of the Child Development Programme under the Hussaini Foundation has seen thousands of parents and teachers going through the training courses and so many children benefiting from their therapeutic activities.
A major achievement has been breaking community barriers, particularly on stigma of mental ill health, disability, or being in care. Today we celebrated the exploitation of talent, potential and gifts in the face of whatever adversity life brings. Seeing children driving the campaign was truly inspiring!
Does it sound implausible? My friend Prof Naved Iqbal, who received this Global Challenge Research Fund grant, does not think so. Nor does our partner Salaam Baalak Trust, with their longstanding experience and excellent work in the streets of Delhi. It is certainly tough and overwhelming, but we will be making a start soon, involving key stakeholders, most importantly children and young people who have lived and/or worked on the streets. We hope to have a t
angible and evidence-based plan later in the year.
Reviews can be over- or under-cooked, but occasionally they push you to unpick the main points. With a large body of evidence emerging on the mental health of refugee children, maybe two messages to take from Seyda’s review of her review in the Bridge:
- The need for multi-modal interventions
- Their implementation and evaluation in a ‘real world’ service context
The number of children living in disadvantage in LMIC, particularly in urban areas, is sadly expanding. This usually comes in contrast with their decreasing quality of life, welfare, opportunities and access to services. Despite our efforts to enhance children’s resilience in traditional school and community settings in recent years, this appears a little naïve within that wider context.
So, we are grateful to be given this
opportunity to have a crack at linking our service transformation programme with urban planning, transport, leisure and environmental transformation in Dhaka, together with the Development Research Initiative, colleagues from geography and local stakeholders. Really exciting trip into the unknown, but also nice to go back to Bangladesh!