Build Your Own Buddy (BOB)

Lead Organization: Help a Child
Partners: Help a Child, TNO, ARQ
Duration: December 1, 2019 – November 30, 2021
Goal: Build your Own Buddy (BOB) is a pilot project adapting the treatment KIDNET: the child version of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) and reinforcing it with a picture-story book and a personal buddy.

About the project

Build your Own Buddy (BOB) is a pilot project based upon theories on the neurobiological impact on the brain and brain development in children. (Ven der Kolk, 2014. Techniques are used from Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) such relaxation and coping techniques, emotional expression and regulation and from (KID)NET such as the lifeline in the parent program. A picture-story book and a personal buddy will reinforce the coping strategies. It will be piloted with preschool children (5-7 years) in Wau and Jur River Counties, Republic of South Sudan (RSS). Feasibility of the approach will be tested and outcomes in children evaluated through pre- and post-measurements. A participatory mixed method design of action-research and quantitative measurements will be applied in all phases of the innovation. If the results of the pilot warrant this, up-scaling and further implementation of the intervention, as well as further research (i.e. randomized controlled trial with a control-group) will be possible.

Learning Questions:

Viability and feasibility:

  • Are preschool children able to create a successful and durable buddy from local materials?
  • Are Community Counsellors able to apply (quality) elements of KIDNET /BOB after training by the programme team – or what should we do different, what do they need?
  • What issues do we encounter applying BOB in groups and what can we do to solve this?



  • Do children experience a difference in levels of stress after the series of sessions?
  • Do children perceive more support from their parents and interaction with other children, compared to a baseline measure?
  • Are children, parents and CC satisfied and positive about BOB? How do they rate BOB (and each session?) on an appreciation scale?
  • Are there any adverse effects observed?


For further implementation or up scaling:

  • What are impeding and stimulating factors for execution and implementation of BOB?


Contact lead organization Help a Child
Jaap Vuijk