The devastating explosion in the port of Beirut a year ago led to a Giro555 national fundraising campaign in the Netherlands. With the donations, Terre des Hommes will be able to provide psychosocial care to children and their parents until July 2022
Amina is a mother of three, two sons and a daughter called Noor (names are changed). The family lives in Mar Elias camp In Beirut.
Since December 2020, Noor (9 years old) has been participating in the FPSS (Focused Psychosocial Support) sessions implemented by Terre des Hommes in Lebanon. Amina, her mother, is also taking part in the FPSS sessions provided to caregivers under the same project since January 2021.
Noor was a shy child at the beginning of the cycle. That is why she felt uncomfortable during the first FPSS sessions. Her shyness was visible through her lack of social engagement with other children. “At the beginning, I couldn’t accept my friends, because I was a new member. Now I accept them” she claims. The child started gradually participating in the group discussion and in the games focusing on different topics such as emotions, friendships, communication, uniqueness, diversity, stress management, cooperation, setting goals, and conflict resolution. When asked about diversity, she comments, “We do not laugh at others, it is true that others are different, but they are humans like us.”
Noor is also a creative girl. She likes writing. Inspired by the characters of the stories she listens to during the sessions, she uses her imagination to write her own stories, create new scenarios and draw illustrations.
860 children got psychosocial support so far (figures April 2021)
Amina on the other hand is participating in the discussions around the topics of feelings, self-esteem, time management, trust, child protection, online safety, and positive communication. According to her the sessions have provided a room to the mothers to share their experience. She claims “We, the ladies, had an opportunity to share our ideas, share what makes us sad, what makes us happy. We benefited a lot!”. Amina also highlights how other mothers share common concerns especially on topics related to child protection and online safety. “I used to wait for the next session with enthusiasm, to see what the subject we will discuss with the facilitator”, she explains.
According to Amina, this program has given her and her child a break from the daily routine, and a space for mental, emotional, physical, and psychological development, especially after the trauma lived after the blast. She can already witness an improvement in the behavior of Noor as she is now more engaging and communicating at home.
The midterm report of the National campaign Giro555 for Beirut can be read here