Country: Palestine.

Donor: UTL

Period: September 1st 2016 – March 31st 2017.

Thematic area: Protection of refugees and displaced persons.

Local partners: El-Amal Rehabilitation Society – Rafah; Alasdiqaa Association for People of Special Needs; General Union for Person with Disabilities – Rafah; Palestine Red Crescent Society; Deir Al Balah Rehabilitation Society; Al- Burij Society for Community Rehabilitation; Palestine Avenir for Childhood Foundation; Baitona for Community Development; Jabalia Rehabilitation Society; General Union of Disabaled Palestinians – Gaza; The National Center for Community Rehabilitation; Palestinian working woman society for development (PWWSD).

Italian partners: Cospe

Overall objective: Empowering Palestinians' resilience to overcome their vulnerability, which depends on the psychological and physical traumas occured during last military operations.

Specific objective: improving the preparedness of CBOS’ and responding capability against traumas of vulnerable groups, in particular for disabled people and women.

Direct beneficiaries: 360 people with acquired disabilities, who will benefit from peercounselling activities by workgroups; 200 disabled people will get individual peercounselling support; 12 peercounsellors will get an advanced training on peercounselling tecniques and methodologies, with a specific target on gender issues; 21 CBOS will improve their capabilities for responding to their comunities’ needs and share their informations with local services; about 240 women will benefit from individual counselling support; 1500 people, women and persons with disabilities, will partecipate to theatre/forum activities; 1800 women will benefit from help groups organized by the three target progects CBOS, under the monitoring of PWWSD’s counsellors; about 2000 women and girls will benefit from prevention and sensibilization sessions organized by PWWSD, together with CBOS’ workers in project areas; 17 counsellors will improve their competences on psychological and social support, in particular on inclusive approach to disability. During the beneficiaries selection, the inclusion of women with disabilities will be facilitated concerning psychological activities and social support , as they are victims of multiple discriminations.

Indirect Beneficiaries: families of disabled persons and women involved in the project; local communities living in the project areas; organisations working on psychological, social and legal support in the Gaza strip.

Summary of the project:

The aim of the project is to give psychological and social support to the most vulnerable people of Palestinian population, in particular disabled persons, especially those who became disable after the latest military campaigns and women whose social and economic situation has been dramatically damaged by the latest Israeli military operations. Consequently, the intervention areas will be the mostly damaged places by the ProtectiveEdge operation.

According to the data collected by the Palestinian health ministry, about 1143 people injured during the ProtectiveEdge operation now have a permanent disability and, as a consequence, they will need psychological-social support. EducAid has defined the condition of 717 individuals: 27% are women (196), while 73% are men (591). 65% have a motor disability; 6% permanent burns; 6% visual impairments; 1% hearing impairments; 22% other disabilities.

The UN Convention of the rights of people with disabilities defines such issue as the result of an interaction between people with impairments and physical (environmental) or social (behavioral) barriers. In the context described before, supporting the achievement of fundamental rights of those individuals is considered crucial.

The UN suggests a disability mainstreaming approach, which considers this issue as something to be treated not in a special way, but intertwined in an idea of inclusive development.

Peer-counseling is a methodology based on a relation of help which is considered useful to develop social and individual empowerment processes. It is based on a relation between individuals living the same social condition: an interaction between a counselor and a person needing social help. The counselor should represent the living example of the possibility of reaching a satisfactory social and personal life. This methodology derives from socio-political emancipation experiences developed in the US by marginalized groups. It is based on key elements like listening each other, empathic comprehension, complementarity, concreteness, body awareness, emotional work, problem solving, planning.

For the realization of the project, about 32 cycles of peer counseling will be activated; about 320 individuals will benefit from peer counseling groups, while 200 people will benefit from individual peer counseling.

Ten psychological-social support office will be activated during the first month of the project; 2000 women will participate to prevention and information sessions; 240 women will participate, before the end of the project, to individual and familiar peer counseling programs; moreover, some help groups will involve about 1800 individuals; 1500 women and 400 disabled persons, will participate to theatrical workshops before the seventh month of the project; counselors groups would have the opportunity to organize meetings for sharing information and methodologies; CBOs specialized in gender issues, competences will be strengthened on disability mainstreaming; last but not least, a digital platform will be activated, accessible via personal computers and mobile devices, where individuals and DPOs can report important psychological-social cases.