The Suitcase Project: Working with Unaccompanied Child Refugees in New Ways

  • Glynis ClachertyEmail author
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 24)


The Suitcase Project is a support project for African migrant children in South Africa’s Johannesburg inner city that provides some learning about approaches that may help war-affected children cope with their past and present reality. Using artwork and storytelling the project worked with a small group of children over a period of 5 years to record their experiences in and on a set of old suitcases. The space created by the project allowed a place for children to feel some control over their lives, to mourn some of their losses, to see themselves as more than “refugees” and to begin to look to their futures. With reference to recent thinking about trauma and narrative therapy approaches, as well as the use of artwork in healing processes, the chapter explores how creative work can help migrant children to a modicum of well-being in spite of their ongoing precarious lives.


Young People Asylum Seeker Migrant Child Proximal Development Refugee Child 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.African Centre for Migration & SocietyUniversity of WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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