Futures 500 – The 2019 Trauma Project
With your generous support, our partners on the ground in Gaza completed 5 projects in Gaza to support a total of 500 severely traumatised children aged between 7 and 14 with psychosocial support, therapy, education and play in a safe and child-friendly environment.
5 locations were chosen on the basis of whether they were epicentres of the latest Israeli attacks, and their vulnerability and need for interventions. In each location, a local grassroots partner was supported in implementing the projects. In each location, 100 of the most highly impacted children were selected for the programme.
The locations and partners were as follows:
|Rafah||al Tadamon charitable society||61||39|
|Deir el-Balah||Hekker Al jamea youth center||52||48|
|North Gaza||Al Sulteen Neighborhood|
|North Gaza||Palestinian Association for|
Development and Heritage
|North Gaza||Ghassan Kanafani non profit|
Each partner provided one psychologist and two educational facilitators for their location, and the teams were tasked with the following primary objectives:
- To help in providing psychosocial support for the children to enhance and boost their mental health, skills and potential.
- To provide and create a safe environment for the kids to express themselves and build up their self-esteem and confidence.
- To spread awareness among parents on how to deal with their children and how to provide support for their kids in challenging situations and crises.
- To support and help the organisations and societies working with adolescences and children so that they could improve provision of psychosocial support services.
All in all, 1280 workshops and activities were conducted across the five partners’ locations between January 1st and August 31! They included discovery activities for the kids, such as art, theatre, games, and story-telling workshops. These were followed up by group psychosocial activities with goals including self-esteem, expressing emotions, overcoming trauma, problem solving, self-discovery and acceptance, and pursuing their dreams.
The children also received educational support in the main subject areas of maths, Arabic, science and English to help them engage with their education more fully, gain confidence and self-belief, and to get ready for their exams. They also workshopped a number of activities in art, theatre and literature based on their own interests.
The programme also provided support and education for their parents to help nurture and support their children. Topics ranged from dealing with fear in their children, to psychological first aid, to the importance of play and sport, dealing with technology (pros and cons!), protection from sexual harassment and healthy nutrition. And more!
Parents and children were also encouraged and guided through simple activities to help bonding. The regular attacks on Gaza, and relative impotence of the population at the receiving end of some of the most powerful military machines on the planet undermine children’s respect and belief in their parents, so strengthening this bond is essential. Activities included making flowers for mother’s day, acting sketches and singing performances, an open fun and games day, a plastic arts day, amongst others.
Throughout the workshops and projects, a number of children were demonstrating severe behavioural issues, and they were supported through individual sessions to help them overcome their challenges and heal. The impact of these interventions was clear in testing at the end of the programme.
The results? Here’s our key delivery partner’s prognosis.
The project has received a great positive responses from the children groups , their parents and all the working partners as the project had shaped a productive and long term impact for the children and their families lives which has been proven through the duration of the project via the applied activities with both the kids and the parents . Nevertheless, some of the children even though they have shown an improvement they rather still need more psychosocial support as the test during the project has showed.
For many children, these projects are sadly not one-and-done. They will need more. Life under siege and regular bombardment doesn’t happen without extracting a toll. Which is why, with your support, we will continue to deliver these programmes until the siege, occupation and attacks are over and their impact reduced.