Supporting Caregivers in Strenghtening Children's Resilency
As a result of the omnipresence of violence in Palestinian children's lives, their psychosocial well-being is under significant strain. In an assessment of the psychosocial status of children carried out in 2003 , the overwhelming majority of children (93%) reported not feeling safe in general and feeling vulnerable to attack, injury, house demolition or arrest in particular. Almost half of the children reported witnessing and/or experiencing one or more conflict-related events. Nine out of ten parents interviewed in the same assessment reported symptomatic traumatic behavior amongst their children, ranging from nightmares and bedwetting, to increased aggressiveness and hyperactivity, as well as a decrease in attention span and concentration capacity.
However, despite the adverse circumstances, most Palestinian children continue to exhibit resiliency - that all organizations working for children have a responsibility to support. According to the Psychosocial Assessment of Palestinian Children, "the majority of Palestinian children (70%) continue to feel that they can improve their own lives by developing academically first and foremost, but also personally and socially". It is however worth mentioning that professionals working with children in the most exposed places, such as for example Rafah or Khan Younis, report increasing difficulties among children to invest themselves in school and to plan for the future.
The overall goal of the project is to protect and restore the psychosocial well-being of children in the most affected areas of the Gaza Strip. The main supporting strategies are to promote the re-establishment of a stable family life and to help re-establish a sense of normality in children's lives. The project objectives are: promoting care-givers awareness of psychosocial needs, as well as establishing professional psychosocial teams in the southern Gaza Strip.