Stabilisation programme for the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza)

Project description

Title: Youth promotion for the stabilisation of Palestine
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Country: Palestinian territories
Overall term: 2019 to 2021

Activities as part of the ‘Sports for Smiles’ initiative for the psychosocial support of children and young people

Context

Crises and conflicts have characterised the Palestinian territories for decades. They are accompanied by restrictions on free movement, high unemployment rates, experiences of trauma as a result of the war and increasing poverty of the Palestinian population. In particular, those who bear the brunt of this tense and unstable situation are children and young people who account for more than half of the Palestinian population. Disappointment over the government as well as a general feeling of lacking prospects and hopelessness is spreading.

Objective

Children and young people are better able to cope with the difficult living conditions in Palestine. In the event of crisis, open spaces have been created in which children can also be children.

Activities as part of the ‘Sports for Smiles’ initiative for the psychosocial support of children and young people

Approach

The programme operates in three priority areas, namely (1) psychosocial support of children and young people; (2) psychological crisis intervention in the Gaza Strip; and (3) the promotion of youth initiatives in communities. The programme works in the underserved areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The project intends to provide safe spaces for children and young people in existing premises of local civil society organisations. In them, young people are able to exchange views independently and in a non-discriminatory way.

In the first part of the programme, psychologists and youth workers are undergoing training to develop and offer psychosocial support. These services are combined with music, dance and sporting activities for children. They address the effects of trauma and conflict and strengthen the psychological wellbeing of children and young people, including those with disabilities.

Activities as part of the ‘Hand in Hand – Together we can make a difference’ initiative for strengthening the participation of young Palestinian people

This work is supplemented in the second part of the programme through emergency psychological measures for children and families in situations of acute stress. Crisis intervention activities focus on the Gaza Strip. Mobile teams of psychologists carry out home visits on affected families in overlooked areas of the Gaza Strip and provide psychological first aid.

In addition, the project promotes youth initiatives. Young people are trained to initiate and implement projects independently in a youth group. The aim is to improve their social participation in their home villages and regions by developing their personal and social skills. This also contributes to their constructive and non-violent conflict resolution.