Target Groups

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees´ (UNHCR) report (2018), more than 68.5 million people were displaced worldwide due to persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. Of these individuals, 40 million were internally displaced and 25.4 million were refugees. While a significant number of refugees reside in regions around and inside Europe, the largest number are located in the Middle East region, especially in Palestine and Jordan.  

There are more than 2 million people living in refugee camps in Palestine and 700,000 Syrians and 2 million Palestinian refugees living in Jordan (almost 40% of the total population) (González-Úbeda, 2017).

A direct target group for this project is professionals who provide mental health services to refugee children in Palestine and Jordan. These professionals are made up of psychologists, teachers, psychiatrists, social workers, and nurses. These practitioners hold the highest degree in their field. Nonetheless, their knowledge must be updated and their skills improved to meet the needs of children regarding potential neurodevelopmental impairments. Being able to meet the needs concerning the neurodevelopment of children requires academic and professional programs based on:

  • Knowledge: Solid theoretical background on the topic.
  • Skills: Developing proficiency by training abilities for assessment and intervention.
  • Professional competencies to work as a team and be involved in different sectors.

An indirect target group that will benefit from the project is the refugee children. The complex needs of children are related to neurodevelopmental processes and the risk and protective factors that will modulate these processes.

These main needs regarding neurodevelopment are:

  • Care aimed at preventing neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Global life-long protection for the health and education of children in order to prevent serious insults to their normal development.
  • Access to protective factors such as adequate nutrition, schooling, and availability of spaces in which they can carry out leisure and sports activities.
  • Programs with the general objective of stimulating adequate cognitive and emotional development.
  • Testing for neurodevelopmental disorders through rapid, valid, and reliable screening applied by different members of the care teams.
  • Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations that can identify sequelae, in turn leading the planning of well-targeted interventions for specific alterations.
  • Programs with the general objective of stimulating adequate cognitive and emotional development, especially in vulnerable groups exposed to higher risks and children with mental or physical handicaps.
  • Evidence-based interventions in different areas and types of neurodevelopmental impairment.
  • Early specialized psychological care for trauma derived from the stress of conflict and extensive exposure to violence.
  • Intervention programs focused on learning and the educational consequences of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Programs oriented toward the protection of neurological development that includes the promotion of autonomy, social cohesion, and emancipation.

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