The Development of a School-Based Curriculum to Enhance Wellbeing Among Somali Immigrant Children in the United States

Part of the International Handbooks of Religion and Education book series (IHRE, volume 3)


This chapter explains the use of Somali cultural knowledge to develop a school-based curriculum to strengthen the wellbeing of Somali immigrant children living in an urban setting in the northeast region of the United States. Children such as the Somali children who have experienced war trauma sought refuge in neighboring countries, and with the help of international agencies like the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), these children were transferred to developed countries such as the United States (US). The Somali children brought with them some baggage of emotional turmoil due to war trauma experiences that have derailed their normative development. In school systems, especially in the US, teachers and other school personnel not only lack necessary Somali cultural knowledge but also lack an understanding of what these children had gone through in their home country, in refugee camps, as well as their difficulties in adapting to a society that is different from theirs. This chapter explores the immigration experiences of these refugee children and impact of mass trauma which these children had gone through; it also explains the development of a culturally appropriate curriculum, based on Somali cultural knowledge, and how the curriculum could be used in working with these children in schools.


Traumatic Experience School Personnel Refugee Camp Refugee Child United Nation High Commissioner 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child and Family Studies/National Center for School Counseling Outcome ResearchSchool of Education, University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.National Center for School Counseling Outcome Research, Hills SouthUniversity of Massachusetts, AmherstAmherstUSA

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