Amal UNHCR Field Study

A Qualitative Analysis of the Relevance and Impact of Amal Episode 1 & 2 and Book 1: Perceptions of Refugee Children and their Caregivers in Iraq and Egypt.

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Amal UNHCR Field Study

In the fall of 2020, the UNHCR funded a study of the first two episodes of the Amal Series, and the first book of the Amal Book Series*. This study involved 32 children and their caregivers (representing seven nationalities: Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen) living in two refugee camps in Iraq and Egypt.
The primary purpose of this study was to assess the suitability of the first and second episodes in the Amal Animation Series and the first book for refugee children ages nine to twelve. Specifically, this study examined whether the material was relatable and understandable for children and their caregivers and that the content did not trigger severe reactions. It also assessed whether the participants were able to learn some skills about managing stress and anxiety and normalizing their feelings.
Questions were asked of both children and caregivers (parents, guardians, or community members) to assess whether such material could be used by trained, non-specialists’ community or outreach workers. In addition, this study aimed to determine if there was a positive change in the following areas after exposure to the book or video:

Knowledge

Knowledge of psychological distress and its behavioral implications

Attitudes

Attitudes toward life, themselves, and others

Skills

Skills to cope with traumatic events, stress, anxiety or depression

Key Findings

“The vast majority of feedback to the Amal book and video was positive and suggested that it was relatable and could educate children and their caregivers about toxic stress and its effects. Moreover, the material showed low potential to trigger children and their caregivers. Overall, the data suggests that the book and video could prove to be a useful tool for community members and outreach workers in helping children and caregivers manage the effects of toxic stress.”

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