Strengthening educational skills of parents living in asylum seeker accommodation centres

Fondation Dora supports a pilot project implemented by Save the Children in Swiss accommodation centres for asylum seekers; the goal is to improve parental capacity to care for their children.

Parents are a child’s first resource. But refugee parents living in asylum centres are faced with many challenges. They have very little space for their private family lives and their daily experiences are strongly influenced by the precariousness of their situation. Moreover, these parents are often suffering from the psychological burdens of what they experienced in their countries and during their escape. 

These pressures weigh on parents and affect how they are able to care for their children, thus impacting the well-being of the latter. Furthermore, many refugee children in Switzerland have themselves experienced traumatic events. 

The organisations that manage asylum centres do not have the necessary resources and do not offer specific programmes to support parents in creating an environment that is favourable to their children’s development. It is currently rare that any of the staff in these centres have received any socio-educational training or have experience in caring for the psychosocial needs of children and their families. 


In the framework of this pilot project, three modules are offered to asylum centre staff who support the parents in their day-to-day. These modules are built upon an approach that includes stress management and strengthening the parental role, as well as developing educational skills. Save the Children also leads workshops directly with the parents.  

To do this, suitable materials translated into more than 10 languages were developed and training workshops are now offered to centre staff and/or refugee parents. In 2021, this new project was established in five accommodation centres for asylum seekers, providing support to more than 190 parents and 240 children. 

By strengthening the role of refugee parents, this project enables parents to better help their children manage stress and encourage their development, thus allowing these children to grow up in an environment without violence.

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization committed to defending the rights of children. Since 1919, Save the Children has been working in a targeted manner to ensure these rights are respected.

Fondation Dora has supported this programme since 2020.