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For thousands of years, heroic stories have been used to inspire, motivate, and transfer cultural values to children.
Children in many nations have hero characters to look up to, but the displaced children don't have one.
We have created "Sarah" for them. Sarah is a hero character that shares their experiences, the easy and the hard ones, the happy and the sad ones.
Sarah is strong and curious. She manages to deal with the challenges that life presents to her, maintain her happiness, and make her dream come true..
Can you guess where does our hero come from?
We endorse the importance of diverse role models in children's literature.
We spent 4 months of research, survey and art work to create a multi-national character, so that children from many nations -especially refugees- can see themselves in her.
The book focuses on the beauty and richness that diversity brings to this world.
Every child has experienced the sensation of wind blowing in his/her hair, or water streaming through his/her fingers.
The book has metaphors based on the interaction between children and the universal elements of nature.
Our hero "Sarah" has a secret superpower. She talks to the sun, discusses with the sea, and engages with the wind and the river.
Nature makes the story appeal to all the children around the world.
The story is built with respect to all religions and beliefs, It explains the beauty of co-existence and living with love and respect towards everyone.
The name Sarah was chosen as a common name between many religions and cultures.
This book’s objective is to bring healing through storytelling to the refugee children that have been affected by conflicts and have witnessed situations that are hard to understand.
The book transforms the hard stories into an epic adventure, to provide children with positive and healing mental images, and to balance the traumatic memories that they have kept from their experiences.
Imad Elabdala, the book's author is a Syrian refugee who has experienced war and displacement himself. He has volunteered in refugee camps in different countries in Middle East and Europe.
The book is based on true stories and first hand experiences, that the author turned into a child friendly adventure.
The book has been tested on children (both refugees and European children) in different readings. These readings have revealed that both groups of children respond well to the story, especially on refugee children.
The story also encourages European children to show empathy towards refugee children.
The book was developed with professional supervision. The author consulted a range of professionals in the field, including professors of psychology the universities of Vienna and Stockholm.
Clinical psychologists, therapists and social workers with experience of working with refugee children in Europe and Africa, were also consulted.
CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognitions (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), behaviors, and emotional regulation.
The book re-tells a traumatic story as an epic adventure where the hero character develops smart and simple strategies to cope with her circumstances and challenges, and finds rational explanations to the hard experiences she has lived through.
In exposure therapy, your goal is to have less fear about your memories. It is based on the idea that people suffer from their traumas because they learn to fear and avoid thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind them of a past traumatic event.
The book uses metaphors based on the interaction between the child and the elements of nature, and put the reader in a peaceful mental environment making it easier to approach the memories of the war and displacement instead of fearing and avoiding them.
In this type of therapy, you learn ways of dealing with emotional conflicts caused by your trauma. So by becoming more aware of your thoughts and feelings, you can change your reactions to them.
The book brings up the child’s awareness about his/her own feelings, especially the confusion that the child faces when changing environment. In the book, Sarah talks to the river (where the river represents an extension of her inner voice) and finds a way to deal with her feelings in a way that raises her self-esteem and confidence.
The book encourages children to have dreams and to believe in their dreams, to have a positive image of their future and to believe in it.
When children are displaced, one of the most important objective for them is to feel safe and home, and to feel that they belong to the place where they are relocated. They need to build their sense of identity according to a positive self-image.
The book connects the idea of feeling home with that of having a positive dream for the future. This makes children relate to their new society with hope and optimism, and encourages them to become what they want to become.
The book has a strong girl hero character. She is resourceful, thoughtful and determined. She finds strength within herself in an internal dialogue that allows her to heal from difficult experiences.
The book projects children from both gender as equal. It increases the awareness of children that opportunities exist to reject the traditional gender-biased social norms, and encourages both boys and girls to cooperate in defending their equal rights.
The book encourages the displaced children to integrate in the new society and become a positive member of it, while at the same time to be confident in their identity and proud of their cultural heritage.
The book explains the experiences of refugee children in a gentle way, which helps children in peaceful countries to empathize with the experiences of refugee children. It also visualizes the similarities between children, and promotes coexistence.
The hero in the book finds fun ways to overcome the integration challenges, learning a new language being the most important of them. She manages to enjoy learning and communicate with her new friends.
The book explains the principle of war and conflicts to the children, in a way that increases their awareness of how it starts and how they can prevent it from happening.
The book presents peaceful dialogues as the solution to solve conflicts, as well as the necessity to keep loving each other despite our differences as human beings to make life more beautiful.
The book promotes the idea of cooperation between children to bring their ideas to life. It brings positive examples of team spirit.
It encourages children to start their own projects from scratch and fulfill their curiosity.
It presents positive examples of creativity in environments with limited resources.
The book tells a hard story in a gentle way, and turns it into an adventure where children can relate to the hero and learn from her.
It has happy parts and sad parts, conflicts and resolutions.
The children love it and here is what they say about it.