Studies of newly arrived refugee children show rates of anxiety from 49% to 69%.  In addition, they often display symptoms of depression, PTSD and other mental and physical health problems. This has a significant impact on their resilience, confidence, self-esteem, aspirations and how they connect to and build relationships with others. 

Psychosocial Support Programme, Lebanon

Our Mini-Tented School and Mobile Education Bus Programme in Lebanon plays a vital role of continuity for refugee children and aims not only to provide academic progress, but also to enhance resilient behaviours in children and facilitate the development of peer relationships and positive self identity. To complement their academic learning, we run a Psychosocial Support Programme in these two learning settings that are crucial for children’s integration and their social and emotional development.

Mindfulness and Coding, South Africa

In the Khuma Township, South Africa, we have a Mindfulness and Coding programme that runs across 3 schools. 
Students start each session with guided meditation and yoga to focus their minds and prepare for learning at school. They also work through CodeMonkey and Scottie Go challenges and activities designed to unlock critical thinking, coding and maths problem solving skills.  

Why Mindfulness and Coding?

In order for anyone to learn, they need to be relaxed, happy and open to new ideas. Oftentimes students, particularly in poor communities, come from environments of high stress, lack of safety and feelings of chaos. These can inhibit the brain from accepting new information. In the mindfulness and coding programme, students are led through exercises to calm the mind and body to prepare for optimal learning. They participate in guided meditation, deep breathing and yoga first, and then are exposed to new coding skills. The combination of these two activities allows for the best gains.
Learning and practicing skills such as mindfulness and yoga provide students with tools they need to self-regulate and manage the increasing demands placed upon them in the classroom. It provides the opportunity to reduce problems in school like inattentiveness or acting out, while fostering skills for positive mental health

Honey Phali, BF programme facilitator

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