Girl Zone (Tjejzonen)

Big Sister mentor program online

Tjejzonen works to promote the right of girls to be listened to and to reduce mental health problems among girls between the ages of 10 and 25. Childhood is currently funding a Tjejzonen project that aims to improve mental health problems, prevent vulnerability and promote the integration of newly arrived migrant girls. The target group is 20 teenage girls and young women who have arrived in Sweden over the past two years.

In 2016, 435 unaccompanied girls applied for refugee status in Sweden. The mental health needs of refugees are generally high, as many have experienced terrible things both in their home countries and while fleeing, and need help to process traumatic experiences. Many girls also feel they would prefer to be helped by other girls and women, due to a lack of faith in the authorities and/or men for various reasons.

Childhood has previously funded Tjejzonen’s project to develop and adapt their Storasyster (Big Sister) mentor model (older girls who support younger girls) with an online model, making the program accessible to girls all over Sweden. Tjejzonen now wants to adapt its Storasyster model for newly arrived migrant girls. Girls will receive a big sister to chat with and engage in voice and/or video calls with for a period of one year. Tjejzonen also provides other forms of support and helps to navigate the community resources that are available.