Empowering Parents

Project owner: AFYA

Responsible person: Sabine Kampmüller & Oula Khattab




Civil Society / Social Economy

What is it about?

Refugee parents face particular challenges, when they arrive in a new country. In this project parents are approached by certified, intercultural facilitators, who speak their first languages and understand their socio-cultural background. The approach throughout the six-week training is strenths- and resource-based. The aim is to reflect personal parenting styles and to provide knowledge about child development and needs as well as parenting skills to solve family conflicts and to educate without violence.


Refugee parents face particular challenges: children learn and adapt faster to the host country; they gain more "power" and demand for their freedom. Post-traumatic stress and (temporary) loss of positive family routines lead to conflict and risk of violence. 


Through a culturally sensitive training program, facilitated by peer educators, parents learn to understand the needs and rights of their children in the new situation. They practice skills for communication and dealing with conflict. By engaging with others, they are reminded of their own strengths and resources and are reassured in their role.  


Certified intercultural parent educators, who themselves have experienced forced migration and speak the first languages of participants, run the groups. They are supported by a specialised organisation for parental counselling. 


Parents who attend the programme increase their parenting competencies and are able to mitigate the negative consequences of post-migration stress on their families. The risk for mental stress and family violence is reduced. Family bonds as a resource for child development are improved.  


The low-threshold approach is easily transferable. That is to say, working with certified peer-trainers, who reach the communities in their first languages and understand socio-cultural issues that are key to effective parenting programs.  


Photo © Andrea Zehetner