Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Terkini dari Palestine

 January 28, 2009

An Old man drinks directly from a key water pump in one of the Gaza streets.
People in Gaza do face big problem to obtain fresh drinking water. Israeli army don't allow spare parts and materials used for water in Gaza.

Parents hope UNRWA psycho-social support will help kids "grow for a better future for their country"

Gaza - Ma'an - After three weeks of war and a week of shocked recovery, eight-year-old Aseel Abu Etaweh found it strange to wake up to her mother calling her out of bed for another day of school.

For the first three weeks of the New Year, Aseel had been woken up by explosions. 

Being the eldest, Aseel usually takes on the responsibility of getting up first so she can help her little brother Samer get out of bed. These days her coaxing words tell him to get up, because everything is going to be all right.

“Kids now find it hard to go back to the old routine,” said psychiatry consultant in Gaza Dr Rawya Al Borno. She explained that there have been “countless damages” from the war on Gaza, but noted that the longest lasting are “the psychological damages that occur in kids, how they suffer … losing the feeling of safety, sticking close to their parents, losing the ability to sleep, to focus, and to eat.” 

There are many children, she said, that have more “severe reactions, like uncontrolled urination.” 

Children that lost the most are also faced with the greatest amount of psychological distress in the long run, Al-Burno added. 

As school started again and life returned to a somewhat normal pattern, UNRWA schools prepared for the psychological trauma that would return to classrooms with the children. 

With this in mind, UNRWA schools devoted the first days back to helping students get past what happened. The support program is designed to engage the students in several activities that help them release the fears. 

Aseel, for example, was asked to write a letter to all the kids around the world. She wrote,

“My name is Aseel and I am 8 years old, I have the right to live, study and play, the Israeli’s took all of that away from me.”

She said writing the letter helped her let out her feelings. She said she wrote the letter to a child her age but who did not have to live through the war in Gaza. Aseel then looked up and asked “why do other children enjoy their life, and we don’t?”

Other teachers asked students to draw their feelings or experiences, have small discussions with classmates where they shared what happened to them during the war. Small drama classes were organized where students acted out feelings and frustrations or reenacting situations that made them frightened and talking about them. 

Even normal play in the school grounds was a chance for students to let out their feelings, and help them regain a sense of safety and normalcy. 

Dr Al-Borno said the fastest way to deal with post-traumatic stress of this degree in children is by using Psycho-drama. The method allows the children to re-play events of the war in a safe space, where they can move past and even conquer the fears associated with the events. 

Manager of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program Hasan Ziyadeh, said “kids are expected to lose their focus or even use violence in expressing their feelings,” as they come down from the hectic and terrifying events of the war. “This is why we must not ignore such behavior and treat it quickly.” 

An essential element in such treatment is family support, said Ziyadeh, though religious and extended family institutions must also be activated to best assist those most traumatized by the events of the war. Religion and family will play a big part in helping the Gaza community get over this war, he said. 

Aseel and her little brother Samer have the courage without being afraid, they said. While much of what they believed about the world and its people has changed since the war began, they understand that for many their ability to survive the war makes them heroes. 

They know that survival is more than just being alive, but that it is also them doing their best to understand what happened and move on to continue living their lives, of trying to feel safe and move forward. 

Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates