In 2021, the "K-par-Cas-2" toolkit was developed as a collaborative effort between The Ink Link, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and with financial support from the European Union. This toolkit is designed to promote the mental health and psychosocial well-being of migrants. It builds upon the initial version created in 2018 by psychologist Olivier Coldefy and illustrator Laure Garancher, co-founder of The Ink Link.
K-par-Cas 2 is a versatile toolkit that enables dialogue and self-representation through sets of cards featuring objects, landscapes, people, emotions, and skills. This toolkit provides individuals with a unique means to express themselves, allowing them to share information about their identity and life experiences, emotions, and skills. It empowers them to engage in conversations while being sensitive to their own boundaries and potentially distressing memories.
The "K-par-Cas-2" toolkit consists of several kits and supplementary materials, each serving a specific purpose:
Kit 1 : " My Story "
This kit allows migrants to share their personal backgrounds and histories in a safe and non-intrusive environment. It helps facilitators gather essential information about the migrants' life experiences.
Kit 2 : "My Migration Journey"
This kit delves into the details of the migrants' migration experiences, encouraging them to organize their thoughts and identify significant moments during their journey.
Kit 3 : "Taking Care of Oneself"
Kit 3 is focused on mental health and includes two components:
Kit 3A : Flip book "Take Care of Yourself"
This resource explains mental health and why migrants may be more susceptible to psychosocial distress. Furthermore, it provides valuable information on coping strategies to navigate such distress.
Kit 3B : Card Game "My Emotions"
This card game helps migrants express their emotions and identify signs of psychosocial distress.
Kit 4 : "My Resources"
This kit aids migrants in assessing their skills, resources, and aspirations for a positive future, laying the foundation for reintegration planning.
The toolkit provides flexibility for facilitators with varying levels of expertise in mental health and psychosocial support. It offers different rules for "beginner," "intermediate," and "expert" facilitators, ensuring that the tools can be effectively utilized by a wide range of professionals.
Beginner Level: Designed for facilitators with no formal mental health training and limited experience in providing psychosocial support to migrants.
Intermediate Level : Tailored for facilitators who have received initial training focused on developing psychosocial skills.
Expert Level : Reserved for facilitators with professional mental health training and extensive experience in psychosocial support
Recognizing the importance of proper training, a "training of trainers" workshop took place in Dakar in January 2023, with the involvement of Olivier Coldefy and Laure Garancher, the originators of the K-par-Cas project. This workshop aimed to equip professionals with the skills to use K-par-Cas 2 effectively. Subsequently, this training program was replicated in six countries, including Nigeria with the support of IOM’s Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships to Achieve Sustainable Solutions initiative (COMPASS).
With limited access to the toolkit in Niger, the facilitators demonstrated their resourcefulness by downloading and printing materials, and even making use of recycled resources. Manon Dos Santos, one of the facilitators of the training, emphasized the significance of this initiative, stating, "This activity empowers field workers to master and employ the 'K-par-Cas 2' toolkit effectively, ultimately promoting the mental health and psychosocial well-being of migrants in transit or returning home."
K-par-Cas 2 is a valuable tool for aiding returning migrants, but its impact relies on well-trained facilitators who can make a significant difference in migrants' lives, as demonstrated by the "training of trainers" workshop in Dakar, promoting mental health and psychosocial well-being.