A Peer Support and Peer Mentoring Approach to Enhancing Resilience and Empowerment among Refugees settled in Southern Spain

2 April, 2020

Reference: Paloma, V., de la Morena, I., Sladkova, J., & López‐Torres, C. (2020). A peer support and peer mentoring approach to enhancing resilience and empowerment among refugees settled in southern Spain. J Community Psychol, 1-14.

Abstract: This study aims to analyze the processes of resilience and empowerment experienced by refugees in southern Spain during their participation in a community‐based intervention. Intervention design covered two phases over 15 weeks: (a) accompanying a group of 10 settled refugees to become mentors, making use of a peer‐support‐group format; and (b) holding four cultural peer‐support groups made up of newly arrived refugees led by the previously trained settled refugees, following a peer‐mentoring format. We analyzed the mentors’ narratives and written evaluations produced over the course of the intervention program. Mentor resilience increased during the first program phase and remained high and stable during the second phase. Mentor empowerment steadily increased throughout the duration of the program, and was fueled when participants became mentors to newly arrived refugees during the second phase. This study highlights how a peer‐support and peer‐mentoring approach is useful for enhancing the resilience and empowerment of refugees in receiving societies.

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