TeamUp: Support for Refugee Children Worldwide

War Child has entered into coalition with Save the Children and UNICEF to meet the urgent needs of refugee children in The Netherlands - and beyond...
Children can become a child again, playing the activities of TeamUp at School with War Child

Children joining in one of our TeamUp activities

Photo: War Child

In search of safety

More than 70 million people worldwide are displaced by armed conflict - half of whom are children. These children are directly exposed to the effects of violence, separation and fear - effects that exert a significant and negative impact on their development and psychosocial wellbeing.

War Child has joined forces with Save the Children and UNICEF Netherlands to address these negative impacts - through the TeamUp programme. TeamUp has been developed to provide social and emotional support to refugee children through sports and movement activities.

Refugee children are exposed to traumatic events and experience significant stress during their journeys to safety. They are frequently on the move, forced to live far from home and their friends and families. They share their parents’ uncertainty during the asylum process. At night they often have nightmares.

All of this sees refugee children become fearful and withdrawn - unable to place their trust in others.

The TeamUp methodology

TeamUp provides children aged from 6 to 18 with a suite of structured sports, play and movement activities. These activities combine to support children to deal with their complicated feelings. Each activity has a specific goal related to themes such as dealing with anger, stress and interacting with others. The TeamUp programme ultimately helps to provide children with emotional support and a much-needed sense of stability.

The activities

  • Contribute to increased social and emotional stability for refugee children
  • Reduce the chance that children will develop further psychosocial problems in the long term
  • Ensure that children who need more social-emotional support are identified and referred to the right agency
  • Ensure that children's resilience is strengthened - enabling them to cope better with stress factors such as bullying, anger and fear.

TeamUp around the world

In the Netherlands TeamUp provides support to refugee children in more than 25 asylum reception centres and 17 reception schools. The activities are delivered by trained professional volunteers within the reception locations, or teachers and other educational staff within the schools.

TeamUp is also active in four other locations - Uganda, Colombia, Sri Lanka and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. 2020 will see the programme expand to support refugee children in Sweden as well as Italy and Greece (in partnership with SOS Children’s Villages).


TeamUp's methodology is being monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to uphold and garantee quality and relevance.

Our TeamUp partners:

Save the Children partner War Child

Save the Children

Save the Children promotes children's rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries.

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UNICEF partner War Child


UNICEF is the children's rights organisation of the United Nations.

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