Project report: Dialogue, Trust, Rights, Kyrgyzstan
Grantee: Dialogue, Trust, Rights, Kyrgyzstan
Project: “Love and Care for Every Child” – Training for teachers to provide psychological support for children whose families are affected by migration
“Love and Care for Every Child”
Batken is one of the leading regions in Kyrgyzstan in terms of the number of outgoing labour migrants. Clearly, one of the negative consequences of labour migration is the vulnerability of migrant children whose parents are forced to leave them at home. According to UNICEF, 14% of minors in the Batken region have at least one of their parents in migration. Children of migrants need more attention and emotional and psychological support. They are often deprived of parental attention and affection and basic supervision of their academic performance and, as a result, are more prone to stress, anxiety and frustration, and they are also at high risk of violence, exploitation and abuse.
According to schoolteachers with whom we spoke, many children whose parents are migrant workers have developed resentment towards their parents because they left them, and their relatives do not listen to and understand their needs correctly or in time. As a result they experience difficulties in establishing a relationship of trust with them. The consequences of ignoring this problem are obvious – a whole generation of young people can grow up deprived of love and attention in childhood.
Thanks to the support of The BEARR Trust, in 2022 our organisation implemented the ‘Love and Care for Every Child’ project, which made it possible to strengthen the local capacity of trained social educators and teachers in the Batken region to work with migrant children, as well as to draw public attention to this problem. So, within the framework of the project we organised training sessions for 16 social educators and head teachers in educational work on psychological characteristics, the skills to recognise changes in children’s behaviour, and to correctly and promptly respond to such changes. To conduct this training, we invited an experienced practising adolescent psychologist. One of the participants in the training course, Dargul Tursumatova, sharing her impressions, noted that such training is not only a great opportunity for teachers to gain new knowledge and information, but also an opportunity for a lively exchange of experience and a joint search for solutions to complex cases that teachers often have to deal with or encounter in their work. In particular, such practical advice from a psychologist and other colleagues is important in finding the right approach to migrant children, who are often very vulnerable and sensitive.
Teacher training sessions
After that the social educators and teachers trained by us held seminars in their local schools, where they shared the information and knowledge they had received with their colleagues, parents, representatives of municipalities, and inspectors of the Inspection for Juvenile Affairs department (IDN). During these seminars, the main emphasis was placed on the issues of timely detection and response to changes in the mood and behaviour of migrant workers’ children, in order, if necessary, to support them emotionally in good time, ensuring the attention of the school, social educators and other competent specialists. In other words, do not leave children alone with their problems, act together.
Perhaps most importantly, the teachers trained during the project are now actively applying the acquired knowledge in their work with schoolchildren, including children of migrants.
Another aspect of the project’s activity was to attract public attention to the problems of the children of migrants and overcome public indifference to this problem. To do this, in close cooperation with local journalists, we created videos where families of migrants, guardians of children of migrants, and other interested parties shared various aspects of the problem. In order to ensure the widespread distribution of these stories and increased numbers of viewers, they were posted on social media as well as being release on local TV. There is no doubt that the problems faced by migrant workers’ children require a systematic approach, and joint and integrated actions by all stakeholders.
Local TV reports and videos produced by Dialogue, Trust, Rights:
“Batken: children miss their parents” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufdcjCNBsX4
“The impact of migration on children at the border” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5D9C4U7Af8
The implementation of this project allowed our organisation to study this problem more deeply, to canvas the opinion of a wider range of stakeholders. Thanks to the experience gained, we were able to develop and attract a grant for a project on socio-economic support for migrant families, in particular through the development of small businesses. In addition, we will continue to work closely with teachers to strengthen their capacity to work with the special psychological needs of migrant workers’ children. Also, in these new projects we plan to pay more attention to the socialisation of migrant workers’ children and support for school initiatives aimed at vocational guidance.
Author contact details
Nazgul Aldashova, Executive Director