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Together with the Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany (ZWST) and funded by Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH), IsraAID Germany e. V. has implemented this project in southern Israel with the aim of 1) strengthening the mental well-being and resilience of children and teachers in the conflict zone by 2) teaching methods of mental health promotion for psychosocial support (MHPSS) to teachers in schools.

Due to its proximity to the Gaza Strip, the region around Eshkol and Beer-Sheva in southern Israel has been subject to shelling since 2001 from nearly 20,000 rockets and mortar shells as well as from improvised balloon-borne incendiary devices. These recurring traumatic experiences have led to increasing psychological stress in the 220,000 people living in the target region, which, in turn, have led to an acute need for psychosocial support to cope with fears and trauma. This particularly affects schools whose staff is insufficiently qualified to react to the influence of traumatic experiences and the associated stress on the students.

Through the use of art therapy offers for students and teachers, the project responds to this on-going traumatic situation in order to exert a direct influence on the mental well-being of the students. In addition, further training exists for teachers on the application of therapeutic methods in their everyday teaching.

Over a period of three months, 150 teachers and over  1,000 Arab and Jewish students aged six to twelve received support in four schools in the Eshkol and Beer-Sheva regions.

Goals

  • Strengthening the mental well-being and resilience of children and teachers in conflict zones

  • Teaching Mental Health Promotion for Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) methods to school teachers

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