Capacity Building on Improving Psychosocial Support Services for Conflict-Affected Children in Kaduna State
Supporting Partners: USAID, NERI
Increasing and pervasive violent incidents against civilians in Southern, Northern, and Central Kaduna State has caused a decline in basic education, particularly for children in conflict-affected communities. These children’s academic learning—and socio-emotional well-being—are severely constrained as a result of displacement and violent attacks. Children who are exposed to violence attend school with poor functional skills, including inhibited memory, limited attention span, and emotional and behavioral issues. Children affected by violent conflict experience mental health issues long after they experience the initial conflict and are further compounded by the consequences of conflict, including loss of homes, economic hardships, inadequate living conditions, and separation from family and community members.
In an effort to alleviate some of the Psychosocial issues surrounding violent conflict, the USAID/OTI Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative (NERI) partnered with Safer World Foundation to expand NERI’s Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) and training in Kaduna State. As Nigeria’s leading experts in Psychosocial Support, Safer World Foundation trained 20 guidance counsellors of the Kaduna State Ministry of Education to increase their ability, knowledge, and skills in evidence-based therapies specialized for children (Play Therapy). Increasing Psychosocial Support in Kaduna State is an integral part of emergency response in the state and will heal children from the psychological wounds caused by violent conflict while helping them rebuild social cohesion as active survivors.
To ensure a legacy of sustained PSS support throughout Kaduna State under NERI’s programming, Safer World developed a Psychosocial Support Curriculum to be rolled out by the Ministry of Education in an effort to institutionalize PSS across the State’s public-school system.