Ana Paula Monteiro, a teacher from the Nursing School of Coimbra, and nurse Luísa Santos, who is currently attending a master’s degree at ESEnfC, will be at the Kara Tepe refugee camp, in the island of Lesbos (Greece), during the month of February, with the purpose of providing support to school-aged children and young adolescents.
Mental health promotion and non-formal education of young people, who were forced to flee their native countries with their families, are the activities planned for these two nurses from Coimbra.
Professor Ana Paula Monteiro is the researcher responsible for the UICISA: E (Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing – Unidade de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde: Enfermagem) Project Beyond Borders: Promoting Refugee Children Mental Health - A Mental Health Nursing Project in a Refugee Camp. Luísa Santos will be doing her clinical training under the scope of the master's degree in Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing. In this mission, they will have the vital collaboration of the Portuguese Refugee Support Platform (PAR).
The ESEnfC representatives are part of a PAR volunteer team.
Ana Paula Monteiro (RN, Master’s Degree in Sociology and Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences) explains, “The Kara Tepe camp, near the border with Turkey, welcomes the most vulnerable refugees, including women traveling alone or with children, unaccompanied children, older people and disabled people.”
According to the ESEnfC teacher, “these children and families are in a “limbo”, caught between a devastating war and traumatic experiences and the wait to being able to start their lives again with full European citizenship.” However, the researcher continues, “many of the borders are closed and the family reunification and refugee placement processes take too long.”
According to Ana Paula Monteiro and Luísa Santos, “the PAR moto Cuidar da Espera makes perfect sense for Mental Health Nursing”. “These children are in extreme vulnerability contexts, they are literally waiting for their future. We hope to be able to understand this reality”, say both nurses who will bring gifts to the Kara Tepe children: stuffed toys who were gathered up at ESEnfc for over two weeks.
The project Beyond Borders: Promoting Refugee Children Mental Health - A Mental Health Nursing Project in a Refugee Camp includes a team and several consultants (researchers, psychologists, specialist nurses in Mental Health and Psychiatry), as well as two other ESEnfC teachers, Paula Camarneiro and Ana Perdigão.