Since February 2009, immediately after Operation Cast Lead, Mercy Corps in Gaza has been implementing a comprehensive psychosocial program funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The program provided emergency psychosocial assistance to over 20,000 children, youth, and family members across the Gaza Strip.
During the final months of the program, the Mercy Corps psychosocial team expressed an eagerness to show a larger public the activities that were being implemented and the impact that these activities were having on (the behaviour of) children and families affected by the Gaza War. At the same time, Maurice Jacobsen, an American independent filmmaker, walked into our Gaza office and asked if we were interested in working together to make sure that stories about people’s life in Gaza were shared with the rest of the world.
Our partnership resulted in a 25-minute video following five children as they participate in our program and go through the journey of self-discovery and healing.
Here is the 6-minute abbreviated version, posted on our YouTube site:
And here is the 25-minute version, posted on a free video site that contains ads:
The story is told through the eyes of Roba, Soad, Abeer, Monzer and Hala. They are young Gazans, between the ages of 12 and 15, who live with their families in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Using the Comfort for Kids (C4K) workbook as a focal point, the children all share information about their lives with us. While they are telling their story, their homes are visited, their parents or neighbours interviewed, their participation in the psychosocial support sessions shown.
The psychosocial program ended successfully in March 2010. But the video illustrates the continuous need for our activities. It illustrates the importance of the program, as well as its impact and effectiveness.