Batseba Asefaw is an MA student at the Tavistock Centre where she is in the process of completing the course Working with Children, Young People and Families: A Psychoanalytic Observational Approach. Following this course, she hopes to pursue the Professional Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at the Tavistock, enabling her to increase representation and viability of clinicians within the African-Caribbean community and more specifically within the Eritrean community, which she belongs to.
Batseba has worked in the field of child protection, youth participation and mental health for four years. She currently works as the Youth Programme Lead at Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (ECPAT UK), facilitating a safe space for young people who have been trafficked and exploited through weekly support and sessions, life skills, social activities and rights based workshops.
Before this, Batseba worked with separated and forcibly displaced children and their families in a refugee camp in Greece for three years with The Schoolbox Project. She designed a trauma informed programme called ‘Quluna Sawa’ (translated to ‘all of us together’ in Arabic) program. This programme nurtures parental resilience, mitigates children’s exposure to toxic stress, improves individual and family functioning in a challenging camp environment, strengthens family support networks, and promotes success in school. She created the programme to be culturally-competent and father-inclusive, with sessions built around a child’s needs and interests. Batseba has published an article detailing her experience working in a refugee camp in Association for family therapy and systemic practice – ‘Reflections on the value of trauma-informed care in a refugee-camp setting in Greece’ Context Magazine (2019). 22.
Batseba also worked with young children affected by Grenfell tower incident; she has designed and led the Ma’un camp since 2019. Throughout her career she estimates to have worked with over 1000 children and young people ranging from 0-25.
Batseba is deeply passionate and interested in identity, racial equality (institutional racism and discrimination), belonging, recognition of oppression and privilege. Throughout her career these interests have propelled her advocacy work for the rights of young people as well as those who have been forcibly displaced. Since starting the course Batseba has used psychoanalytic and child development thinking to challenge and push beyond her own conventional way of thinking. Batseba has addressed the existing power dynamics within the organisations and institutions she works with, encouraging increased authentic and meaningful member participation.