A professor from the Faculty of Social Work will work with Senator Romeo Dallaire and others on a national study on children and youth who face significant social and political challenges.
Dave Este was asked to lend his expertise to the $1.6 million Canadian National Centres of Excellence Knowledge Mobilization project led by Michael Ungar from Dalhousie University.The prestigious group of national partners includes Dallaire, the retired general who led the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda during the genocide, Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier and representatives from the National Red Cross and the Canadian Armed Forces.
“Children growing up in challenging contexts in Canada and internationally face multiple threats to their psychosocial development such as violence, war, dislocation, poverty, mental illness, and the transmission of trauma across generations,” Ungar writes in his proposal.
Ungar invited Este to be part of the team because he wanted a “research scholar with expertise in issues related to African-Canadian young people.” While the grant does not support direct research, the team will work together to compare knowledge from various disciplines and synthesize that information to make it a useful tool for policy makers, practitioners, educators and the public.
“The synthesis of the data from all areas will allow agencies to develop interventions to assist young people in different cultural contexts to deal with adversity and challenges that may affect their emotional well-being,” says Este. He has written extensively on the issue, including a recent article on a resiliency framework for immigrant and refugee children and youth in Canada.