S60-5046/S55 -5347 The Protection and Wellbeing of Displaced Children: A Colombian Case Study (3 credits)
Colombia’s decades of conflict have led to one of the world’s largest contexts of internal displacement in known history. UNHCR (2018) figures show that Colombia is currently home to 5,761,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). The government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace agreement in 2016; however, violence persists between remaining armed groups. Further, due to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, 1.2 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees have recently crossed the border into Colombia. Although the government of Colombia has extended extraordinary support to Venezuelans, conditions remain dire for many. Just over 1 percent of Venezuelans have access to health care. Thousands live in overcrowded rooms that expose them to many dangers. They are unable to access clean toilets or provide enough food for their families. And many children are missing out on education. Children are among the most vulnerable in displacement situations. Often separated from their families, they risk being recruited into gangs, sexually violated, and left living and working on the streets.
The course is grounded in the Global Classroom concept of “distributed learning” that mobilizes the power of a diverse set of learners to collectively explore the multifaceted challenges associated with organized efforts to protect children and promote their well-being in humanitarian settings. It will emphasize global standards and best practice; the value of local, culturally grounded voices/experience; collaborative workspaces and dialogue; and locally informed investigations or assignments. The course format will include classroom lectures, discussion seminars, sites visits and data collection in Colombia. The course structure will combine classroom instruction with experiential learning provided through field visits to displaced communities and NGOs.
Description of Course Activities:
The travel portion will take place in May, 2024 over approximately 10 days in collaboration with the School of Government at Los Andes University and is taught by Dr. Lindsay Stark. Students will meet over zoom with Los Andes students in spring, 2024 for 3-4 sessions. It is envisioned that students will spend the majority of the time in and around Bogota with guest lectures from faculty at Los Andes University, UNICEF, Government officials and others as well as site visits to displaced communities and other at-risk populations around Bogota. Students from the Brown School and Los Andes will have the opportunity to learn, observe and reflect together on a range of issues and approaches - from high-level policies to community-led approaches to protection. During their stay, students will shadow implementing programming for children and families, and review monitoring and evaluation frameworks and other internal accountability processes. This has been approved as a TPS course.
The tentative list of topics covered during class includes:
A. Child Protection Systems
B. Violence and Wellbeing
- Law and Policy
- The shifting landscape for refugees
- The ecological framework, ‘protective environment’ and other applied conceptual frameworks
- Community-based protection mechanisms
E. Leadership, Advocacy and Accountability
- Protection from Violence, Exploitation, Abuse, Neglect
- Impact of Violence on Children
- Psychosocial wellbeing and mental health
- Social Change and Family Strengthening
- Social Protection
- Unaccompanied and separated children
- Social Inclusion/Non-Discrimination
- Cultural and Social Norms/Social Change
- Child friendly assessments, monitoring and evaluation
The following social work and public health competencies will be addressed with this course
1.1. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
1.2. Engage diversity and difference in practice/ Cultural competency skills.
1.3. Advance human rights and social and economic justice
1.4. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
1.5. Respond to contexts that shape practice
Double occupancy rooms for all students in university dormitories at Los Andes.
This course is open to all Brown students. Students must apply via this website and the deadline is in October. If chosen, you will be required to enroll in the course for the spring and travel in May. If you are a second year student, your official graduation date will be August, although you will be able to participate in the May graduation ceremony before the course travels.
The cost per student is $1850. This will cover flights from St. Louis or Chicago (students are responsible for getting to Chicago), housing, in-country transportation, and some meals. Students are responsible for the costs of any meals, visas, required or recommended immunizations or other expenses not noted. This will be charged to your student account so financial aid is available.
For questions, please contact Tammy Orahood, Director of Global Programs, Brown School, at firstname.lastname@example.org.