Gaza holds summer season camp for youngsters traumatized by conflict

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — On June 8, the Gaza Ministry of Education and Higher Education’s summer season camps, dubbed “Jerusalem in our Eyes,” have been launched within the Gaza Strip, focusing on major faculty college students. These camps purpose to supply psychological and academic assist for youngsters, and present emotional launch for college students who have been traumatized throughout the latest escalation within the enclave. 

According to ministry figures obtained by Al-Monitor, over 50,000 college students enrolled within the camps held in 150 facilities throughout Gaza.

During the latest escalation that lasted from May 10-21, Israel threatened to bomb Al-Buraq Elementary School, west of Gaza City — however ended up refraining from doing so. Today, youngsters play in its courtyard with their sports activities coach, whereas others have their faces painted with the Palestinian flag by their artwork instructor, as these camps purpose to strengthen nationwide id amongst college students. The battle passed off after Hamas objected to Israel’s actions in Jerusalem, together with the deliberate eviction of residents of Sheikh Jarrah and the Israeli raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In one of many lecture rooms, the scholars’ voices have been echoing loudly that Jerusalem is the everlasting capital of Palestine, accompanied by the civics instructor.

Abdel Qader Abu Ali, director of the Ministry of Education’s directorate in western Gaza, advised Al-Monitor that the purpose of those camps is to supply psychological aid and entertain college students who suffered fear and terror. More than 200 Gazans have been killed, together with youngsters, and plenty of properties, buildings and different amenities have been destroyed by Israeli bombardment.

These camps may also contribute to refining the youngsters’s artistic, social and patriotic character, and selling their skills, he famous.

He defined that the camps embody 4 sections, that are psychological assist, arts and drawing, sports activities and video games and the promotion of values and nationwide id amongst college students. He added {that a} specialised instructor has been assigned to every part, stating that the ministry needed to finish the college yr early May 17 in gentle of the conflict.

Speaking concerning the motive for enrolling youngsters between the ages of seven and 11, Abu Ali stated that this age group was uncovered to a whole lot of psychological strain and {that a} baby that isn’t even 11 years previous can’t bear the violent sounds of bombing and the scenes of destruction and demise, noting {that a} assist group is obtainable to supply psychological companies to college students.

“The government schools [in western Gaza] lost 15 of their students, while 100 others were wounded, and many students lost their entire families,” he continued.

Abu Ali identified that every one COVID-19 precautionary measures are being applied within the camps, with a most variety of 60 college students per day in every camp, divided into 4 teams. There are six classes of two days every.

He added that the mission will run for 2 weeks, from June Eight to June 21.

Safaa Jarada, the director of Al-Buraq Elementary School, advised Al-Monitor that there was a giant demand for the camps, which may not accommodate all college students because the ministry specified that every camp may solely obtain a most of 360 college students in whole to respect social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. She stated the ministry suggested the camps to refer college students to much less crowded summer season camps and even for brand spanking new ones to opened in different colleges. “We will not turn away any students who wish to join the camp, because what they have been exposed to as children is too much to bear,” she added.

She stated the participation of feminine academics has a really constructive influence on the scholars, who come to the camp from Eight a.m. till midday throughout weekdays, besides on Fridays, noting that the ministry despatched 4 guides for the 4 sections, every of which accommodates 15 college students per day.

“Religious and national education teachers are in charge of the values and national identity courses, and they seek to instill religious values and the sense of national belonging in students,” she continued.

Jarada defined that the inventive part hyperlinks artwork to the homeland, as college students are taught about Palestinian cities via drawings. She famous that women put on a uniform that symbolizes the Palestinian flag, with a pink ribbon of their hair, a white scarf on their neck, a brief inexperienced costume and black pants and footwear.

She stated the sports activities phase goals to assist college students vent and unload via video games and bodily motion, whereas the psychological assist part is the prerogative of the psychological counselor who helps college students of their emotional launch.

For his half, Ahmed Ayesh, director-general of public relations and worldwide cooperation on the Ministry of Education, advised Al-Monitor that there are 150,000 college students registered within the ministry’s colleges however solely 50,000 have been registered within the camps in gentle of the coronavirus precautionary measures.

He famous that the ministry is making an attempt to ascertain extra summer season camps to accommodate all the scholars wishing to profit from the psychological and academic assist they want in gentle of all the pieces they simply went via, including {that a} new camp for one more age group will likely be fashioned quickly.

Ayesh careworn that the ministry’s native and worldwide companions supplied the mandatory monetary assist for the institution of those camps, stating that they value over $100,000.

He added that in response to the ministry’s newest statistics, 77 college students died within the latest conflict on Gaza, together with 26 enrolled in colleges affiliated with the ministry, 19 from colleges affiliated with the UN company for Palestinian refugees and one from a non-public faculty. A complete of 31 increased schooling college students have been killed.

Ayesh stated greater than 100 colleges have been broken or destroyed final month. He stated the ministry didn’t maintain the camps in broken colleges as a result of it needed to supply the suitable atmosphere for psychological assist for college students, away from all scenes of destruction.

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