My Lullaby Project
The project in brief
JAHA Institute Centre
The Republic of Korea
January 2020 - December 2020
The project will be continued in 2021 with an upgraded version.
Our good practice aims to create and give opportunities for refugee mothers and Korean mothers to meet and communicate through our common language, lullaby. In the process, participants share their own lullabies and stories, find resources to deal with difficulties or stress related to their migration or daily life, and experience the feeling of connection. Finally, we will introduce our project to Korean citizens online (unloading video and audio) and offline. This would make Korean society hear the voice of refugees, normally inaudible, and change its negative opinion towards them.
At the individual level: to release and express accumulated stress through physical and artistic activities, and to find participants' resources such as their own lullaby to cope with the stress related to their migration or daily life. It is planned to make some opportunities to have some relaxing time to focus on one's self with and without babies.
At the group level: to meet, to get to know each other between Koreans and refugee participants and to experience the feeling of connection through lullaby as common ground and as a human being.
At the societal level, to make Korean society hear the voice of refugees and to change its negative opinion towards them.
- The fund dedicated to the project
- Understanding of the target population and its need in advance
- Network with the refugee supporting organisations
Main activities of the Good Practice
There are three main activities for the project and its participants:
- Playing with their own bodies as instruments and making sounds normally unused & singing their lullabies one by one, and then all together. We created a new lullaby based on everyone's own lullaby with harmony.
- Expressing their previous activity in images or words.
- Time to communicate with each other via intercultural conversation, which is done through common objects or topics such as hometown, childhood games, experience as a mother etc.
By participating in this project, I think that if we, Koreans and refugees, do its activities together, the prejudices towards refugees could disappear.
- A host community participant
Challenges and how they were overcome
The most important challenge was the situation of Covid19 which restricted all kinds of people’s gathering. However, it should be noted that the stress of our participants was even more important since most of them had to stay at home for several reasons, including caring for children whose school was closed.
The other one was the presence of our participants’ children, who frequently prevented their participation and concentration on themselves during the sessions.
How they were overcome
To respect the National prevention measures such as social distancing, the project proceeded with an reduced number of participants and in a large space ensuring social distancing as much as possible.
Of course, we have also considered online means like Zoom, as the last option. Indeed, because of the really high level of the Covid19 situation in December, we had to do an ‘online teatime’ with some participants and relevant stakeholders available to our invitation to celebrate the end of the project this year with online tool ‘Zoom’.
We recruited volunteers to take care of participants’ children, although this was not always obvious for some children.
Results of the Good Practice
- 14 participants (8 refugees and 6 Korean mothers) and 12 sessions (7 per group), all of them very satisfied with the project, even most of them hope to participate in it next year.
- Have time for themselves and focus on themselves without childcare stress and being called mom. This was especially important and necessary because they often stayed at home without outside activities during the Covid19.
- Better mutual understanding between host and refugee participants.
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
Our good practice aims to enhance mutual understanding between Korean and refugee participants, and to make refugees’ voice heard in Korean society. In the end, it will help to better accept them as its members.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
It can make participants find resources to deal with difficulties or stress related to their migration or daily life.
Our next steps are the regularity of the project as a campaign and the development of different types of content related to the lullaby like storybooks with the paintings of participants.
Further support required for the project to continue or scale up
- Partnership with refugee & migrant supporting NGOs for recruitment of participants, and better understanding and promotion of the project.
- Design and Publication in different forms audio & visual.
Jaeyoon Park, Jaha Institute Centre Director and Intercultural education specialist & Expressive arts therapist
Daenam OH, project manager & psychologist, Jaha Institute Centre