Narratives in the Suitcase
A narrative methodology for responding to children and others on the move
Children on the move is a term used within Southern Africa to describe children moving for a variety of reasons, voluntary or involuntary within or between countries, with or without their parents or other primary caregivers, children who have been trafficked, children seeking asylum, children who migrate for economic reasons. Numerous reports exist about the risks that children on the move face during their journeys including inadequate care, economic or sexual exploitation, abuse, neglect, violence etc.
In 2013, supporting counselling work with refugee children, Ncazelo Ncube created a methodology she called “The Narratives in the suitcase project.” This work drew inspiration from the Suitcase project (Glynis Clacherty, 2004) and combined ideas from Glynis’s work with narrative practice and journey metaphors (http://www.dulwichcentre.com.au/suitcase). The project sought to find out what children’s movements are really about. In developing this Ncazelo’s intentions were to find ways for the neglected stories of the young refugees to be told from their point of view. It needed to be project that would honour the hopes and dreams of children on the move and to support them to experience being connected to the things that are important to them; their loved ones, skills, knowledges and values. It was hoped that this project would open up new possibilities for the young people as well as support those providing counselling services to children on the move to find meaning and derive hope in their work.
One day training on the Narratives in the Suitcase Project
PHOLA offers training on the Narratives in the Suitcase project to people working with refugees and migrant communities. The training is suitable for people who are interested in creative therapies and working with journey metaphors in counselling contexts.
Although the methodology was initially developed to respond to children on the move, it has been successfully used with other people who have had to relocate for different reasons. The training involves
• Unpacking experiences of counselling work with people on the move
• Working with metaphors in therapeutic contexts; and particularly focusing on journey metaphors
• Five steps of the Narratives in the suitcase project