Maria BrayChild Protection & Psychosocial Support Senior Advisor
Maria Bray is a cross-cultural psychologist. Since 2010, she has served as the Global Child Protection and Psychosocial Advisor for Terre des hommes, a Swiss child protection organisation. In this role, she provides remote and on-site technical support to child protection projects developed in emergency and in-development contexts. She is also in charge of developing further expertise for the organisation in relation to protecting children through promising practices, one of which is sport.
At the beginning of her career, Bray spent eight years as a child protection and psychosocial project coordinator in several humanitarian settings, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Georgia. Sport has been a systematic component of the projects she designed and implemented to support children and their families in times of distress, which resulted in impressive outcomes for the affected population at both individual and group level.
Sport is a means and an end when we look at it through the lens of human rights and child rights, and it is a strong tool in protecting children. Today, Terre des hommes is looking at strengthening the links between sport and protection: protection in sport, through sport and around sport. In the past 18 months, Bray has coordinated a joint project with UNHCR and the International Olympic Committee to develop an operational guide and toolkit on how to use sport for youth protection in forced displacement settings.