Dandelion - Graine Interview

A Whole-Community Approach to Well-Being & Learning for Refugee Children

Caregivers Interviews - Autumn 2017

This publication is a work in progress, and part of an ongoing project. More data is being collected so the results presented here are not yet intented for interpretation or sharing.

We talked to caregivers for this interview. Also check out interview Hekima (with teachers), and the first interview.

About the caregivers

The interview population consists of 86 parents and caregivers, originally from Burundi (44 caregivers) and Congo (43 caregivers). 92% can read and write. The participants are 31 years old on average and fall in the 19–25 age category. They have an average number of 4.2 children, most of which are in primary school.

We asked the caregivers a set of questions about messages sent from a fictional character called Gloria.

What is your country of origin?
Can you read and write?

Number of Kids
Children's age

Number of kids younger than primary school
Number of kids in primary school
Number of kids older than primary school

Context and initial reception of the messages

Most caregivers own their own phone, but a significant group doesn’t and uses their husband’s phone. 76% of the participants originally from Congo own their own phone, against 56% of the caregivers from Burundi.

For this interview, the caregivers were sent a series of texts from a fictional character named Gloria. 85% of the caregivers acknowledged they received a message from a new person, and 37% said these came from Gloria. The self reported subject of these messages are ‘Talking with children’, ‘Games’, ‘Brain games’, and ‘Children’s health’.

Who owns the phone you use?

During the past few days have you received new messages from a new person?

Who received the messages?
Who was sending you these messages?

A significant portion of the caregivers didn’t know who was sending them the messages.

Message interpretation and understanding

Altough we have learned in the previous section that most caregivers don’t know who sent them the messages, almost 75% of them said that the messages were very helpful.

There’s quite some overlap between the perceived subjects of the messages, and which kinds of messages were the participant’s favorites. Most caregivers think the messages were about talking with children and games, and it’s also kind of messages they seem to like most. Children’s health is a notable exception: this is the third-most favorite kind of message, while less often mentioned as self-reported topic of the messages.

For the question on favorite kinds of messages, people originally from Congo score higher on the topics ‘Games’ and ‘Talking with children’, and people originally from Burundi score higher on ‘Children’s health’ and ‘On life and marriage’.

How helpful or useful were these messages?

What were these messages about?
What was your favorite kind of message?

Did you talk with anyone about the messages?
Who did you share the messages with?

Overall, almost 75% of the caregivers report that they talked to someone about the messages they received.

They shared them most often with their husband and neighbours.

Note that there are quite pronounced differences in country of origin to these questions: many more people from Congo talked to other people about the messages, and the distribution of whom the caregivers shared the messages with is also different.

Participants originally from Burundi seem to have had more trouble understanding the games, and they also seem less likely to play the games with their children.

There is also a big difference in the anwers as to why the participants were or weren’t able to play the games with their children. Caregivers orginally from Congo answer ‘I didn’t understand’ 50% of the time, while caregivers from Burundi say ‘didn’t receive message with games’, and ‘my husband didn’t tell me’ a lot more often.

This shows that for a portion of the participants, and more so for those from Burundi, their husband (who owns the mobile phone) doesn’t tell them about these messages.

How difficult was it to play these games?

Why or why weren’t you able to play the game with your children?
Were you able to play the games with your children?

Did you call the number?
Why did or didn’t you call the number?

Most caregivers did not call the number that was given them in the messages.

The reason most given was that the participants didn’t know who the sender of the messages was. The absense of phone credit is also often mentioned. The answers given differ quite a bit between caregivers with a different country of origin.

Altough most caregivers might not have followed through with calling the number, an overwhelming 96% say they want to continue receiving the messages.

Would you want to continue receiving these messages in the future?