Help for children on the move
Children on the move are vulnerable to a number of psychosocial traumas and they don’t know what is going to happen since their families are in a foreign country. The result of not knowing often causes fear, depression or anxiety. When families are torn apart because children must leave family members who remain in their country of origin the children go through feelings of loss. They also experience a kind of grief that’s different from grieving a death in the family. Coming to a new place where the culture is unfamiliar and where the language spoken is not their first language, can cause them to mourn how things used to be in the country they left behind. What they experience is a sense of grief and loss through separation. Research reports have shown that the stress of the immigrant experience can negatively impact children’s educational, social, emotional and physical development, as a result, these children require special treatment.
For these reasons, ChildLine works closely with UN agencies to protect and offer psychosocial counselling support to children on the move in Trinidad and Tobago. We do this by offering over-the-phone support through the helpline service, individual psychosocial counselling, and group counselling workshops with children at Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) and Equal Spaces (ES). A number of the topics are covered during the counselling workshops sessions such as: fostering love and hope, coping with grief and loss, building resilience, emotional intelligence, among others.