Success Stories

Providing Psychosocial Support and Relief in Lebanon

 

On September 22 and 23, 2006, CHF International and local partner Globex Engineering International launched its psychosocial support objective through the Humanitarian Assistance in Lebanon (HAL) program, which is funded by the American people through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and individual donors.

This objective will conduct activities in three village clusters in South Lebanon around Yarin, Ghazieh, and Tibnine. This first session focused on engaging the communities’ children in a range of activities designed to address and evaluate the psychosocial impact of the recent conflict and humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. The events were attended by 341 people: 207 children between the ages of 3 and 11, 54 children between 12 and 16, and 80 including children 17 years old and above and parents-—mainly mothers.

The sessions, organized in coordination with the local municipalities, were conducted at the community centers in the villages which are considered appropriate or “friendly” by the targeted population. Direct and indirect observations were conducted by a group of eight professional staff members, consisting of social workers, special education teachers, psychologists, and children animators.

The day’s activities included:

1) Interactive activities: Drawing and explaining within specific themes, modeling clay, face painting, story telling and completing story ending, group games for singing competition, and others for different age groups.

2) Outdoor activities in the playgrounds.

3) Awareness activities: Parents were the main targets where awareness was provided on post-conflict trauma symptoms, including anxiety and depression. Parents increased their awareness on how to identify these symptoms among themselves and their children. In addition, most of the attending parents filled out a questionnaire that is used by the professional staff to identify depression symptoms before and after the war.

Through these activities, our team of professionals is working to identify affected persons as well as the level of trauma impacting individuals. Themes of fear and depression were clearly reflected in the interactive activities, especially in the drawings and clay modeling which were explained by the children themselves: One child drew a mother holding her dead son, another child drew himself with his siblings protected in their mother’s womb, and another child drew himself protecting his head from bomb shelling. While thorough reports are still being developed by the HAL team evaluating the status of the targeted population, preliminary assessments show that children are still deeply affected by the aggressions of the war and, based on the questionnaires filled by the parents, 60% have increased depression symptoms compared to their status before the war.

On September 22 and 23, 2006, CHF International and local partner Globex Engineering International launched its psychosocial support objective through the Humanitarian Assistance in Lebanon (HAL) program, which is funded by the American people through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and individual donors.

This objective will conduct activities in three village clusters in South Lebanon around Yarin, Ghazieh, and Tibnine. This first session focused on engaging the communities’ children in a range of activities designed to address and evaluate the psychosocial impact of the recent conflict and humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. The events were attended by 341 people: 207 children between the ages of 3 and 11, 54 children between 12 and 16, and 80 including children 17 years old and above and parents-—mainly mothers.

The sessions, organized in coordination with the local municipalities, were conducted at the community centers in the villages which are considered appropriate or “friendly” by the targeted population. Direct and indirect observations were conducted by a group of eight professional staff members, consisting of social workers, special education teachers, psychologists, and children animators.

The day’s activities included:

1) Interactive activities: Drawing and explaining within specific themes, modeling clay, face painting, story telling and completing story ending, group games for singing competition, and others for different age groups.

2) Outdoor activities in the playgrounds.

3) Awareness activities: Parents were the main targets where awareness was provided on post-conflict trauma symptoms, including anxiety and depression. Parents increased their awareness on how to identify these symptoms among themselves and their children. In addition, most of the attending parents filled out a questionnaire that is used by the professional staff to identify depression symptoms before and after the war.

Through these activities, our team of professionals is working to identify affected persons as well as the level of trauma impacting individuals. Themes of fear and depression were clearly reflected in the interactive activities, especially in the drawings and clay modeling which were explained by the children themselves: One child drew a mother holding her dead son, another child drew himself with his siblings protected in their mother’s womb, and another child drew himself protecting his head from bomb shelling. While thorough reports are still being developed by the HAL team evaluating the status of the targeted population, preliminary assessments show that children are still deeply affected by the aggressions of the war and, based on the questionnaires filled by the parents, 60% have increased depression symptoms compared to their status before the war.