We are sharing this BITelevision interview with the psychologist from the Assistance Center for Tortured Survivors, Kalina Yordanova, on the issue of the refugee crisis and children who are the most vulnerable victims of it. In the video Kalina Yordanova emphasizes the need for these children to be heard in order to fit into the new environment and to overcome the traumas of the violence they have witnessed. The interview is in Bulgarian, however, you can read a translation of some of the important points that are touched upon in the video.
Yordanova gives an example of her practical experience with a nine-year-old child who witnessed his grandfather's execution in Syria. The child had night terrors awakening him in the middle of the night because of the trauma but managed to overcome it through therapeutic creative expression such as drawing. However, once the child's symptoms disappeared, they resurfaced in the father. Yordanova used this example to illustrate the link between two generations who are strongly connected emotionally. Therefore, in the given example, the child was actually expressing his father's active trauma.
Another important point from the interview is the serious issue of education for these children and the normalization of their lifes after the experience of the conflict. Yordanova pointed out that this is a very difficult issue because the security of their reality has been deconstructed. This would mean that it is of huge importance that refugee centres offer structured, meaningful and educational activities for children which would properly contribute to their development.