Yesterday, June 20th, for World Refugee Day, Hollis took over the Otter-Barry Books Instagram account for a whole day of interviews, Q&A, and lots more.
For starters, check out this inspiring discussion with Martine Bergwerff, Humanitarian Team Lead for Save the Children Netherlands and a key person in Save the Children’s humanitarian efforts around the world.
Martine talked about the ‘3 C’s’ of Climate, Covid, & Conflict (including in Ukraine) as drivers in the horrific numbers of displaced people (100 mln) and refugees (30 mln), >1/2 of whom are children. Trauma doesn’t leave these children once they have reached physical safety. They also need mental and emotional support. Children’s books can help by triggering the imagination, which is ‘crucial for our well-being’.
Martine suggests that the stories and pictures in these books can ‘give children the chance to step away from the horrors they’ve been in’ and give them ‘head space.’ We agree it’s important not to sugarcoat the message. Kids know! Books must be honest, ‘gentle and respectful’, balancing reality and hope. I hope you have the chance to see the interview – and the important last message Martine leaves us with for #WorldRefugeeDay!