Enhance Resilience and Restore Ability to learn of Children

The girl and the other children in the picture are some of the 1,080 children in northern Gaza who via the YEC programme are participating in psychosocial support activities.

Project Description


Fast Facts

Total amount: EUR 236,151.94

Start date: 01/06/2015

Duration: 9 months


Partners: YEC

Main Outcomes:
•    Contribute to improved resilience of children in northern Gaza, enabling them to positively cope with the stress, shock and traumatisation associated with the ongoing Israeli blockade, destruction due to the third Gaza war in 7 years and an over-crowded under-resourced educational system.

•    865 children (50% girls and 50% boys / 80% of 1,080) have recovered from psychosocial symptoms and behaviours, and have strengthened their learning abilities and know how to maintain their learning ability under stress.

•    346 caregivers (80% of 432 parents) have increased their skills in supporting their children’s development and are able to create multifunctional tools out of recycling material.

•    Enhanced coordination and exchange among psychosocial protection and pedagogical specialists within other (I)NGOs in Gaza, including the CPWG, to support the case management and referral system for children at risk in Gaza.

DCA has been awarded EUR 125,859.19 by Caritas Switzerland and EUR 40,000.00 by Finn Church Aid in order to enhance resilience and restore the conflict affected childrens' ability to learn in northern Gaza.

The Gaza Strip is an area that has been under insecurity and siege for a long time, which resulted in the accumulated suffering of its population from poor socio-economical status, environmental hazards and ongoing psychosocial stress. According to the UN Gaza Crisis Appeal, more than 400,000 children in Gaza are in need of psychosocial support after the experienced devastating military operations.

This project is structured as a 10-week program, which focuses on developing a ‘new way of thinking’ for the YEC staff; on encouraging creativity by educators and children at all sessions; on avoiding copy and paste or direction by educators; on discoverering the joy of using recycling materials and to take these treasures home with them; on ensuring activities flow and be aware of when to modify these; and to recognise the signs of children recovering and developing normally again. From a psychosocial perspective the ongoing training and mentoring has focused on ‘de-medicalising’ the children and understanding that every child is responding normally to an abnormal event; each child is different and will respond differently; and that most children will recover without any further intervention.

DCA's implementing partner in the project is the Youth Empowerment Center (YEC).

Caritas Switzerland