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Journey of Hope  

Helping children cope with stress and build resilience after a crisis.

Building resilience among children after disaster

Save the Children works to ensure all children and young people impacted by a crisis get the support they need to process what they’ve experienced and mitigate the long-term impacts. 

We do this through our Journey of Hope in-school program delivered by 54 reasons. Journey of Hope helps children and caregivers cope with traumatic events, develop their natural resilience and strengthen their social support networks. 

Click here to find out how you can bring Journey of Hope to your school in Australia.

The ongoing impact disaster can have on children 

In any crisis, children are always the most vulnerable. More than half of those affected by emergencies are children, and crises can severely affect their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Research confirms that without early intervention, children experiencing trauma may suffer negative effects that impact educational and functional outcomes later in life.1 Studies2 show that primary school children in bushfire affected areas demonstrated reduced academic progress compared with their peers two to four years after the event. 

An evidence-based program with proven results 

Journey of Hope was first implemented after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and developed with children and educators. The program has since been delivered to more than 5,000 children affected by the 2019-20 bushfires in NSW and Victoria. 

The program is implemented by trained facilitators in small groups of up to ten students. It uses experiential and reflective learning activities, including cooperative play, discussion and creative arts, to help children recognise and process common emotions, identify stressors and triggers, and build capacity to deal with those emotions.  

Key objectives of Journey of Hope include supporting children to:

  • understand and normalise emotions associated with traumatic stress
  • develop positive coping strategies to deal with these emotions
  • build on their innate strengths and of their families, schools and communities to further develop positive coping mechanisms
  • cultivate a sense of hope, empowering them to feel more in control over stressors.
1. Goodman, Gail et al. “Trauma and Long-term Memory for Childhood Events: Impact Matters”. Society for Research in Child Development. Vol 13 (1) 2019.
2. Gibbs, Lisa, et al. "Delayed Disaster Impacts on Academic Performance of Primary School Children". Child Development 90.4 (2019).

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