Today Save the Children is proud to announce the launch of ‘Journey of Hope’, the aid agency’s long-term recovery program for children affected by trauma.
First developed by Save the Children USA in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Journey of Hope teaches children social and emotional skill building to help them overcome traumatic events.
Journey of Hope was again used in the aftermath of 2011’s devastating Christchurch earthquake, proving to be highly effective in helping hundreds of children increase their resilience and well-being.
In Australia, Journey of Hope will be offered to schools in bushfire-affected communities in New South Wales and Victoria.
Journey of Hope is being kicked off with a generous grant from the Lego Group’s Emergency Relief Fund and is specifically for the longer-term recovery of Australian children affected by this bushfire crisis.
Through Journey of Hope, Save the Children aims to reach over 4,000 children in schools in affected areas.
Save the Children’s Director of Australian Services Matt Gardiner says that long term recovery solutions are critical, as the impact on children will not simply go away once the fires have gone out.
“Experiencing a disaster can have harrowing long-term impacts on children’s emotional wellbeing, especially if they are not provided with the right support,” Mr Gardiner said.
“We are proud to deliver this life-changing program to Aussie kids, especially after some have endured so much,” Mr Gardiner said.
Run by specially trained support workers, Journey of Hope works with small groups of children to engage in ‘experiential learning’ – involving in activities like role-playing, cooperative games and art. This involvement in learning assists children recognise and process common emotions and build capacity to cope after traumatic situations.
Since December 2019, Save the Children has been responding to the bushfire crisis, running 10 Child Friendly Spaces across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, supporting over 600 children in evacuation and recovery centres. Save the Children is currently providing mobile outreach services to affected communities using our mobile youth vans and play buses and planning to roll out the Journey of Hope from March 2020.
To donate to the Save the children bushfire appeal visit: www.savethechildren.org.au/bushfires