A needs ASSESSMENTS IN Refugee Settlements in Uganda
PTL is currently completing a 6-month Recognition Grant financed by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. This grant includes two target components: a Literature Review and a Needs and Resource Assessment. The Literature Review seeks to identify best practices for para-professionals providing mental health care and psychosocial support services for adolescent female refugees and internally displaced persons. The Needs and Resource Assessment seeks to identify current psychosocial and mental health services for children and adolescents living in refugee settlements in Uganda. Through the Needs and Resource assessment, PTL seeks to highlight the vital work of organizations currently implementing services in addition to identifying gaps and barriers to care.
Adolescents in refugee contexts face a multiplicity of challenges. It is known that refugee populations exhibit high levels of individual and community-wide trauma due to displacement, war, and other sources of adversity. High levels of trauma are known to harm individual health and psychological wellbeing, as well as inhibit self-efficacy when services to build effective coping skills are not provided. In addition, children and adolescent refugees in Uganda, face limited prospects for gaining formal schooling and building vocational skills, which inhibit their potential to engage in income generating activities.
The information gathered during this recognition project aims to build recognition for the current psychosocial and mental health services provided by organizations in Uganda and to identify potential needs to integrate and increase psychosocial support, through expressive arts programming, to aid adolescent girls who have faced trauma due to war and displacement in Ugandan refugee settlements. Additionally, PTL seeks to highlight potential opportunities for future partnerships and potential opportunities to develop a pilot program seeking to address the dual psychological and economic challenges facing young adolescent refugees. Potential future pilot programming will provide crucial psychosocial support interventions, through an expressive arts program, potentially paired with an economic opportunity structure. PTL believes that expressive arts will not only help young girls recover from trauma but also unlock their potential to benefit from job training programs, facilitating successful entry into the workforce.
The potential impact of this project is extensive. The primary goal is to identify best practices for psychosocial and mental health programs for children and adolescents in emergency settings globally and gain a deeper understanding of current programming provided in Uganda. A secondary goal is to identify key organizations working with the target population in Uganda and develop a mapping of service provision, program models, program locations, program outcomes, and barriers to care to highlight the vital work currently provided with the humanitarian community. A tertiary goal is to assess the availability of economic opportunities for adolescent girls in the settlements, which could be paired with the future pilot and large-scale program development. The impact of this programming, built from this research, is expected to include the following benefits for participants: decrease in psychological stress symptoms; increase in self efficacy, self-esteem, and healthy coping skills; and an increase in economic independence. Future development of programming could inform best practices and establish a model of care for aid organizations worldwide as they seek to help the growing refugee population.
We would like to thank the following for funding this important project: