The aim of this project is to build mental health competencies for supporting vulnerable children and young people to prevent mental health disorders by increasing the wellbeing of the primary target group - vulnerable children and young people aged 10-18 years - in and around the 4 SOS CV locations. It is based upon experiences and promising results gathered from a psychosocial pilot project carried out in SOS CV Rwanda from October 2014 to January 2016.

The project builds on and expands activities to meet the demands for preventive psychosocial and mental health support by establishing three parallel interventions: 1) Conversation groups; game & activity groups and drop-in creativity groups for 1,900 children and young people as primary beneficiaries 2) A training program for 100 SOS-staff and other professionals with relevant educational background to qualify as groups leaders and supervisors and 3) Clinical and peer supervision sessions and community counselling for 800 caregivers, SOS staff and relevant public health-, social- workers and other professionals.

The method that is be used is Narrative Therapy and Community Work which is highly relevant when working with vulnerable children and young people as it focuses on: coping, learning, options for agency, network, hopes and dreams for the future and the child’s or young person’s skills and compentences; i.e. an appreciative and identity-reinforcing approach. The strength of the Narrative approach is that it is easy to implement and relative simple for non-professionals to use.

Target group
The primary target group:
• 1,900 children and young people aged 12-18 years of age in and around the four SOS locations in Rwanda: Gikongoro, Kigali, Byumba and Kayonza.
The primary target group is children and young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties but not deeply traumatised or those suffering from psychological or psychiatrically disorders as they will require another type of professional care than this project is able to provide.

Secondary target group:
900 caregivers, SOS staff and relevant public health-, social- workers and other professionals working with alternative care (psychologists, social workers and alternative care managers working with foster families, kinship families, SOS families integrated in community and children in short term care as former street children), kindergarten teachers, primary school teachers and early childhood development educators in and around the four SOS locations: Gikongoro, Kigali, Kayonza and Byumba.

What goals should be reached with which interventions
Overall development objective:
To increase mental wellbeing of children and young people in Rwanda


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