Live Smart

LiveSMART Programme for Unaccompanied Minors

Refugee Rehabilitation and Integration into Adopting Communities


The challenge — refugee rehabilitation and integration

One of the greatest current social challenges worldwide is that of the integration of very large numbers of refugees, often from very distant cultures, into the local community into which they have been relocated.

The refugees arrive so often, deeply traumatised and dysfunctional from their experiences. They find themselves in an alien culture, very often unable to speak the language, unqualified in the country, often illiterate, without family and friends, cut off from all that is familiar and support networks. There is virtually nothing to give them emotional and personal stability. Complications then become greater if there is also a religious difference.

The challenge of helping and integrating these individuals into the new society is significant. It is also an imperative for the health and well being of the society they are moving into. It is unhealthy for that society to have within it isolated and alienated individuals and groups. There is huge potential for misunderstanding, discrimination, and crime.

The LiveSMART solution

This initiative is unlike any of the others currently available. It uses at its core an approach that is now very widely recognised and practiced worldwide in a variety of different situations. This works with the refugees as individuals, addressing and relieving their personal deep-seated anxieties and traumas, within the group environment.

This approach involves the use of a combination of practices and processes for relief of deep seated stress and anxiety from the system, combined with activities and instruction within the group for longer term stress management, and group integration. It is designed to raise energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to engage in a positive way with the new life and environment, whilst also entirely honouring the cultural roots and religion of the individuals.

The nature of the programme

The LiveSMART course takes place typically over 6 consecutive full days, preferably residentially. Group participation is inherent to its success. The course is facilitated by trained teachers with as many assistants as are appropriate to the numbers.

If the unaccompanied minors section typically has 30 residents we will split the group in two, and run two courses.

Both the courses will be run during the same week, with each group having one cooking/ eating session as well as one course session a day (afternoon or evening). This should be coordinated as not to interfere with Norwegian School classes during this week. The reception centres should organise the course as an activity with mandatory participation for the unaccompanied minor residents.

A typical course outline would look like the following:

AGENDA Cooking/Eating Course
Day 1    
Both groups together 18:00-21:00
Day 2-6    
Group 1 12:00-14:00 17:00-19:00
Group 2 14:00-16:00 19:00-21:00

After the course there will be arranged follow up’s typically during weekends. The organisation of the follow ups will be discussed with the management of the reception centre.

The course comprises an effective series of exercises and practices involving powerful breathing techniques, simple stretching and relaxation exercises, games, movement, discussion and the exploration of simple points of wisdom designed to provide coping mechanisms for difficult life situations. These in combination make the experience and lessons accessible and effective. It is designed to be fun and interactive, bringing together the whole participating community into the shared endeavour, thus creating coherence in the group as well as within the individuals.