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Stories of Children in Croatia - Resilience and Trauma

by Aleksandra Selak Zivkovic
November/December 1999
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/stories-of-children-in-croatia-resilience-and-trauma/5013057/

How much do we know about stressful moments of separation when parents send their children away in order to save their lives? Separation may occur because of the loss of children's parents, or can occur in mass evacuations. Children get lost in the crowds of desperate individuals, in the burning villages, in bombed and destroyed cities.

Separation moments under different circumstances have in common the same feeling/perception; the child's image of the world she is used to is suddenly crashing down, the change ahead is threatening, the unknown future is frightening.

The aim and strategy of the Project "Unaccompanied Children in Exile" was to support and strengthen the child's coping skills in order to find a way to recover from trauma of separation. In order to meet the best interest of each and every child related to the special needs of unaccompanied refugee children, different services and program components were provided apart from the basic project goals. Program components developed by the project itself or through other GO or NGO initiatives in the local community focused on covering basic needs related to food and shelter, health, social welfare, education, and special psychosocial needs. The Project "Unaccompanied Children in Exile" has a strong advocacy ...

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