Art and Development


Sector: Art and Development Ongoing Country: Iraq and Egypt Project status: Ongoing Partner: Fondation Terre des hommes
  • ©Tdh/Sandra Calligaro
  • ©Tdh/Flurina Rotherberger
  • ©Tdh/Sandra Calligaro
  • ©Tdh/Jean-Luc Marchi
  • ©Tdh/Olivier Girard
  • ©Tdh/Blaise Ormann
  • ©Tdh/Blaise Ormann


The “You Create” project that  Fondation Terre des hommes develops in Iraq and Egypt (2017-2019), with the support of Alta Mane, intends to design and implement a new methodology, based on child & youth led artistic activities, to support their psychosocial well-being and protection in migration and adversity settings. In such a situation, art has proved to be an extremely efficient tool for helping children and youth to recover from psychosocial distress caused by rapidly changing environment, to strengthen their internal and external protective resources, develop personal and social skills (expression of the emotions, conflict resolution capacity, respect, responsibility and social cohesion), improve their well-being, their resilience and social inclusion.

Specifically, this innovative psychosocial methodology intends to:

  • Help children and youth in migration and adversity settings to express emotions around the stress and trauma experienced and empower their ability to cope with it and to be resilient;
  • Prevent more serious psychological distress to develop and support their psychosocial well-being and social inclusion;
  • Identify innovative practices, based on artistic activities, to protect young people and inform them about their rights, thus strengthening their ability to become autonomous a. nd self-reliant;
  • Use art, in all its different shapes, as a well-being tool and an agent for individual and social change.


With Alta Mane support, between November 2017 and September 2018, Terre des hommes in collaboration with the International Institute for Child Rights & Development, has launched the innovative project “You Create” intended to implement a new art-related methodology to support child and youth psychosocial wellbeing and protection in migration and adversity settings. This new methodology relies on an “Action-research” Protocol to combine analytical research methods and practical experiences. The project consists of two complementary phases: a Global Level Phase (research, development, monitoring and capitalization of lessons learned); a Country Level Phase (implementation and replication).

Global Level Phase

At this stage, between November 2017 and September 2018, Terre des hommes, has developed the following activities:

  • The finalization of the draft of the new psychosocial art-related methodology “The Art Kit”, designed on: i. a Desk and Literature Review; ii. 27 Key Informant Interviews with different Community Based Organizations with sound experience in the field of arts-based programming supporting vulnerable young people’s wellbeing; iii. 3 Field Visits in Canada, Egypt and Thailand;
  • The completion of the Recommendation Report with promising practices and tools for the design, implementation, evaluation of child and youth led artistic activities;
  • The development of an outline for the e-learning training on Participatory Action Research to help professionals world-wide to implement the methodology in their respective projects;
  • The design and featuring of the special section “Empowering Children and Youth through Art” on the online platform Childhub to communicate around the project and later on spread the new methodology and the results obtained among NGO’s, peer organizations, public institutions and stakeholders.

Country Level

At this level, Terre des hommes intends to transfer the innovative psychosocial methodology to young local professionals, test and replicate it over the Community Based Organizations. To reach this goal, between November 2017 and September 2018, Terre des hommes implemented the following activities:

  • The completion of the two phases of the Participatory Action Research Training in Egypt and Iraq. During the training, a total of 26 young leaders (15 in Iraq and 11 in Egypt), aged 15-25, and 15 adult allies (6 in Iraq and 9 in Egypt, from Terre des hommes staff and several CBOs professionals between the ages of 20-30) were trained and, on their turn, developed different artistic activities, oriented by the Art Kit, reaching a total of 236 youths (120 in Iraq and 116 in Egypt);
  • The completion of forging partnerships with 5 CBO’s, 3 in Egypt and 2 in Iraq, to locally implement the new methodology in their own arts-based programming intended to children and youth in emergency context in Iraq (with Internal Displaced People, IDP) and long-term displaced context in Egypt.


Potential direct beneficiaries estimated during the years of the project (2017-2019)

  • 1’000 children and youth (15-25 ages) from IDP Camps in Kirkuk Governorate (Iraq);
  • 1’000 children and youth (12-18 ages) from refugees, migrants and vulnerable Egyptian communities;
  • 300 local professionals to improve their skills to work with children and youth affected by migrations and to act as focal points in the replication of the art-related methodology.

Potential indirect beneficiaries estimated during the years of the project (2017-2019)

  • Hundreds of thousands of young people in migration and adversity settings, and their family, accommodated in the areas of intervention of Terre des hommes Foundation and peer organizations.


Fondation Terre des hommes  based in Lausanne, was established in 1960 and it is today the leading Swiss child relief agency, improving the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable children. Every year, the Foundation helps more than 3 millions of children and their families in 30 countries, running health, emergency response, and education and child protection programs.