Psychiatrist to travel the globe to help child victims of conflict, violence and poverty

Posted by ap507 at Sep 26, 2016 11:15 AM |
University of Leicester academic to visit six continents throughout October and November to provide support for children worldwide

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 26 September 2016

Images of Professor Panos Vostanis visiting countries as part of the WACIT programme available here:

A child psychiatrist from the University of Leicester will be embarking on a global mission to raise awareness about child victims of trauma and build models of support to help them.

Professor Panos Vostanis from the University of Leicester Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour will be travelling across eight countries and six continents throughout October and November as part of an international collaboration to promote awareness, safety and resilience-building for children.

Many of the children Panos works with have experienced war and ethnic conflict, displacement and violence - with many living on the streets in extreme poverty.

Professor Vostanis said: “Our vision is to incorporate psychosocial support for every child who has experienced extreme adversity. This is the first time of providing a comprehensive type of help for children exposed to the most severe types of trauma, in different countries and sociocultural contexts.”

The objective of the World Awareness for Children in Trauma programme (WACIT) is to develop a model of psychosocial support for children exposed to complex trauma and adversity around the world.

As part of the programme Professor Vostanis will be visiting the following countries to help these vulnerable groups throughout October and November:

1.   Athens (Greece) – refugee children

2.   Istanbul (Turkey)- street and refugee children

3.   Jakarta (Indonesia) – orphaned children

4.   Sydney (Australia) – Aborigine families

5.   Chicago (USA) – homeless youth

6.   Campinas (Brazil) – children in favelas

7.   Nakuru (Kenya) – victims of ethnic displacement

8.   Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) – street children

The WACIT programme is at the centre of the University of Leicester official development assistance-related research bids.

The University’s key partner links in the partner countries are ex and current University of Leicester PhD students and research collaborators.

The project builds upon a number of events organised by Professor Vostanis which took place in low income countries during 2015-2016, and led to the development of networks and child trauma centres.

The objective of events across all eight countries in the six continents next month is to combine child trauma workshops on components of the WACIT model, and events with children and young people on resilience-building activities.

In order to highlight the WACIT objectives through child-centred activities, Professor Vostanis will also participate in sports and arts events with the charities and children living in slums or favelas, and those who are refugees and homeless.


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Professor Panos Vostanis on email

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