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World Awareness for Children in Trauma (WACIT)

  • Research project Team

    • Panos Vostanis
    • Evelyn Sharples
    • Jessica Deighton
    • Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
    • Miranda Wolpert
  • Background

    WACIT was designed to maximise impact through collaborations with academic centres and NGOs in disaster zones, training programmes, and partnerships with leading international bodies. WACIT comprises an active and expanding network of inter-linked research, training and capability building. So far, this has comprised three phases:


    1.     Child Mental Health Trail Blazer (2015): Visits, training events and organisational meetings in Turkey, India, Kenya and Rwanda led to the establishment of partnerships.
    2.     Training and networking events (2015-16): Centres were identified according to defined criteria. Training and network-building events held in Turkey (street and refugee children), Brazil (children living in favelas), Pakistan (slum areas and orphanages), Indonesia (orphanages), and Kenya (living in slums following ethnic displacement).
    3.     The 6 Continents in 6 Weeks phase (October-November 2016): The aim is to link participating centres and to apply the WACIT model in different sociocultural contexts. Seminars will be complemented by arts and sports events with children in the targeted areas. You can follow the 6x6 on: and/or @pv11Panos
  • Aims

    The wider objective is to develop transferable technologies, predominantly the establishment of a generalisable and sustainable psychosocial model for traumatised children in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Methodology

    This is an ongoing programme of inter-linked research studies, PhD projects, training and networking events. Current projects include:

    • Detection of protective factors in Syrian refugee children in Turkey (PhD by Seyda Eruyar) and internally displaced children in Libya (PhD by Ahmad Faraq).
    • Feasibility trial for victims of ethnic violence in Kenya (PhD by Elijah Getanda).
    • Stakeholders’ constructs of resilience and perceived impact of WACIT events in six countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil).
    • Development of methodology to evaluate child trauma training workshops.
    • Development of NGO-academic network on resilience-building models.
    • Development of user-led training materials in Turkey, Pakistan and Kenya.
  • Results

    Preliminary analysis has identified resilience factors across the child, family and community level. Stakeholders who attended training and networking events related the programme and the WACIT model to children’s sociocultural contexts and needs. The integration of the findings will lead to the refinement and implementation of the model for further evaluation.