ITF Supports Psychosocial Aid and Comprehensive Rehabilitation in Gaza Strip
In the framework of psychosocial aid for the victims in Gaza, ITF with its partners (local NGO Mental Health Promotion&Capacity Building Center (MHPC) and Slovenian expert Dr Anica Mikuš Kos, paediatrician and child psychologist) is implementing the project “Integrating Mental Health and Psychosocial Services within Educational System: The Establishment of School Counselling Units 2017”. The majority of Palestinian school students are in need of mental health services because of their stressful living conditions, but due to stigma attached to mental illness, many of those in need are reluctant to visit psychiatric hospitals and other mental health centres. The school-counselling units are therefore important as they are accessible and responsive to needs of those suffering from emotional and behavioral issues, while they do not aggravate the associated stigma.
Within efforts of this project, a training course was held in Gaza Strip between 25 and 27 September 2017.
Training for teachers has been conducted with the participation of teachers, school counsellors from different schools in Gaza as well as some university students studying clinical psychology (those students could be used to support the work of counselling units). Training was carried out by Slovenian expert Dr Anica Mikus and expert from Gaza Dr Ahmed Abu Tawahina, and was mainly based on case presentations and case discussions, where all participants were actively involved. The training methodology also included lecturing, group work, role play, and brain storming methodologies. A total of 44 teacher and school counsellors were included in the training.
In addition to supporting psychosocial efforts in Gaza, ITF is also supporting online training for rehabilitation experts. The main objective of these courses is promoting community-based rehabilitation among Gaza therapists. The online training started in March 2017 and was concluded in July 2017. The courses were implemented by a Slovenian trainer and psychologist Ms. Erika Čigon, together with an expert from Montenegro Dr. Sonja Vasić. Trainers who participated in the previous online course continued to help disabled Palestinian children at their homes. The project enabled them access to medical care, since these children do not have suitable health-care facilities in their vicinity.
The training was focused on preparing the group of volunteers/rehabilitation specialists (prosthetics technicians, orthotics technicians, social workers, medical professionals and psychologists) to deliver training for parents of children with disabilities or for their teachers. The content of the course included the needs and methodology of giving the children and students that have undergone limb amputation the needed support during the process of rehabilitation. Combined, 20 volunteers/rehabilitation specialists participated in the training, which was carried out by expert from Montenegro, Dr Sonja Vasić.
Nataša Uršič, ITF Project Manager, visited Gaza Strip and met with project implementing partners and other NGOs while participating in their activities, including Peace Sport Club For PWD – Gaza Strip.
The projects were financially enabled by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Korea and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).