Learning Session: Navigating the pandemic in low resource settings

Early childhood care in times of COVID

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When: Friday, December 11th│10:00 - 11:30  CET                                        


The COVID-19 pandemic presented Refugee Trauma Initiative with huge challenge - how to stay connected with the young children that came to Baytnaour early childhood programs. As the whole world went online, our facilitators came up with creative ideas for how to keep families engaged, connected, and above all demonstrate our continuous commitment to their wellbeing. Zarlasht Halaimzai (RTI Directorand Gabriella Brent (Head of Programmes) will take you through their journey of navigating the pandemic in the difficult context of working with refugees in Greece.  


Zarlasht Halaimzai, Director and Co-Founder, Refugee Trauma Initiative

Zarlasht co-founded Refugee Trauma Initiative in 2016 after returning from the Syrian border, where she had advised INGOs on education and child wellbeing, to help refugees dealing with the emotional fallout of violence and displacement. She has worked for several aid organizations, including Save the Children. In the UK she has worked for the Young Foundation, the Studio Schools Trust, and the Skills Lab – an education consultancy where she was a founding director. In 2018, Zarlasht was selected as a Fellow of the inaugural class of Obama Fellows, a group of 20 global leaders in civic innovation. Zarlasht and her family were forcibly displaced from Kabul when she was eleven years old. She arrived in the UK at age fifteen and was granted asylum.



Gabriella Brent, Head of Programmes, Refugee Trauma Initiative

Gabriella is RTI’s Clinical Lead and Head of Programmes. She oversees our Baytna and Dinami programs, our hub's training and development, and our capacity-building work. Gabriella is a qualified transpersonal counselor and psychotherapist. She has spent the last 10 years working in the NGO sector with statutory services, welfare services, and service users to pilot more systemic holistic, trauma-informed approaches to work with individuals and families caught in domestic violence, social care, mental health, family law, and criminal justice systems. Most recently she worked for the Family Drug and Alcohol Court National Unit, scaling a more effective and humane family justice model across the UK, and with the Advocacy Academy, a youth justice activism fellowship, setting up a psychotherapy service for their advocates. 

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