17 August 2014 | Issue No. 40
UNRWA is providing support to a total of almost 266,000 IDPs taking refuge in UNRWA and non-UNRWA schools
Zaitoun Elem co-ed school, now operating as a shelter, is providing refuge to approximately 4,200 displaced people. Ms Huiyda Al Ghoul is a School Counselor working at the shelter to support the families and children who have been most impacted by their experiences of displacement and conflict. Ms Huiyda, who has been employed by UNRWA for 13 years as a school counselor, explains her work at the shelter, “we provide respite and distraction for the children from the general conflict situation and utilize their time in the shelter in a child-friendly atmosphere.” Ms Huiyda and other counselors facilitate recreational activities for children, such as games, sports and drawing to give children an opportunity to play and to express their thoughts and emotions. Individual and group counseling is provided to those in need of more specialized support.
Counselors provide a much-needed outlet for people to talk about their experiences; and help families to support children in dealing with the impacts of their experiences. Many children and adults have inherent coping capacities that help them to deal with what they have experienced, so, as Ms Huiyda explains, “we focus on children and families that have undergone extreme experiences as well as the ones showing signs of particular vulnerability.”
The CMHP has provided 14,093 sessions encompassing mental health awareness, psychosocial support for parents and recreational and animation activities to 131,626 children. CMHP staff also coordinates and supervises the implementation of sessions by other partners, to ensure services are available for more adults and children
Past 24 hours: The atmosphere remains calm and the streets of Gaza busy. Many families are gathering extended members to try and have some time together before the current ceasefire ends on Monday.
Under its Community Mental Health Program (CMHP), 88 UNRWA counselors reported to the shelters on 15 August. So far the CMHP has provided 14,093 sessions encompassing mental health awareness, psychosocial support covering 118,627 parents and recreational and animation activities to 131,626 children. CMHP also coordinated and supervised the implementation of 3,528 sessions by other partners covering 19,999 adult IDP’s and 99,895 children.
It is reported that during the reporting period the Israeli Navy opened fire towards Palestinian boats in Northern Gaza and that there was an IDF shooting incident near the security fence with Israel.
Data on damage to UNRWA installations is based on preliminary information and subject to change based on further verification. UNRWA estimates that 108 installations have been damaged since 8 July 2014.
More information on the revised flash appeal can be found here.
The Kerem Shalom crossing was closed.