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A Holistic Approach to Education in Emergencies: Bridging the Learning Gap and Addressing Trauma through Social Emotional Learning

Rainbow of Education

location_on New York, United States
Our Rainbow of Education seeks to empower displaced and disenfranchised youth through psychosocial support and social emotional learning. In addition to basic reading and writing, we use kids yoga, mindfulness, dance, play, and art therapy to support holistic development. Children learn interpersonal and behavioral skills which can foster emotional intelligence, resilience, and social cohesion.
Danielle De La Fuente, Founder and Executive Director
We fervently believe every child has the fundamental right to learn, dream, and experience the joy of playing as a child.

Danielle De La Fuente, Founder and Executive Director

Overview

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Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Danielle De La Fuente on March 11th, 2020
Key figures

Innovation Overview

ALL
Target Group
1 100
Children/Users
4
Countries
2017
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
410
Views
Updated on April 14th, 2021
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about the innovation

What is the Rainbow of Education?

Children can be powerful agents of change in the world when given the chance to succeed. However, global conflict and natural disasters have denied an estimated 50 million children their childhood and the opportunity to reach their full potential. Children’s vulnerabilities are amplified in emergency settings, where children are often exposed to repeated traumatic events. Adverse experiences during childhood development can negatively impact future well-being. These children can often feel hopeless and trapped in a vicious cycle of vulnerability and exploitation.

 However, we seek to interrupt this vicious cycle through unique educational opportunities. Our name Amal is the Arabic word for hope, which is the essence of our work. Instilling a sense of hope is crucial in fostering resilience, and it serves as a magical power that allows children to adapt and emotionally heal from trauma. Through the use of traditional and nontraditional methods in a child-friendly space, we teach children interpersonal and behavioral skills which foster an increase in emotional intelligence, resilience, and sense of self-efficacy. In addition to basic reading and writing, our Rainbow of Education uniquely incorporates the use of kids yoga, mindfulness, dance, and art theory to support holistic development. 

We offer children a chance to once again enjoy their childhood in a safe space despite the circumstances. They can engage in the therapeutic and developmentally appropriate act of play, which provides an opportunity to informally address underlying trauma. This is critical in nurturing their ability to acquire and develop the social, cognitive, and physical competencies that affect children’s present realities and future successes.

We also promote social cohesion by welcoming students from all backgrounds. Our safe spaces are areas in which children and teachers from different backgrounds can come to encounter and learn from one another. We emphasize social emotional learning to better the interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence necessary to build more peaceful communities. In addition, the teachers whom we train from both the host and refugee communities ensure the sustainability and cultural relevance of our programs by integrating local values and customs. We build upon the existing strengths and resources of a particular community, engaging in capacity building and professional development. 

The original Rainbow of Education is a six month program designed to holistically support all aspects of childhood development from ages 7 to 12. We also have a 14-week version for children ages 3 to 6 that emphasizes early childhood development. Both curricula use colors of the rainbow to address a different theme foundational to a child’s socio-emotional well-being. The themes addressed include kindness, resilience, empathy, compassion, communication, dreams, emotional regulation, community building, and conflict resolution.

Since 2018, Amal Alliance has impacted the lives of 1100 children, training 73 teachers and capacitating nine organizations in Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey. The great impact achieved in two years speaks to the need for and the effectiveness of our programs. In fact, UNHCR named our model as “most promising holistic practice” at the inaugural Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. We hope our work can serve as a tool to foster peace and harmony between people of all backgrounds. 

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

March 2020
Innovation page created on HundrED.org
December 2019
UNHCR names Rainbow of Education a "Most Promising Holistic Practice" at Global Refugee Forum
November 2019
2019 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits
October 2019
Pilot in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon
June 2019
Scaled Efforts in Greece by Building the Capacity of 7 Local Organizations
June 2019
Summer Program Pilot in Turkey
January 2019
2019 Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency
May 2018
First Ever Program - Pilot in Thessaloniki, Greece
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