Unaccompanied Foreign Minors in Bulgaria: In the Limbo between the New and Old Homes

MHPSS Academic publication

This paper aims to contribute to our understanding of how children and young people adapt and move when placed in Safety Zones for unaccompanied minors in two RRCs in Sofia – Voenna Rampa and Ovcha Kupel. The study presents the findings of the implementation process led by a team of representatives from the REFUGE-ED project (funded by Horizon 2020) and IOM. They worked with two groups of children from Afghanistan and Syria respectively, using expressive therapy tools such as short film creation, theatre etude, and photo school. The first group created a short film based on the life events that led them to seek refuge in Bulgaria, while the second group explored different art-based approaches.

The creative expression resulted in varying degrees of effectiveness among the groups. This allowed the team to explore the possible influence that factors in that dissimilarity. Therefore, the paper will present some of the demographic, biographical, cultural, and contextual elements that could alter the dynamics of the process. On one hand, the aim is to show the “path” that the children themselves have travelled, in the context of psychological practices and the construction of their narratives. This will introduce the audience to their productions, their experiences, thoughts, culture, and reflections on their lives as they moved from their old home to their new one. On the other hand, it will demonstrate the team’s varying experience.