In 2015, Cycling4Gaza supported the newly launched mental healthcare project in Gaza with the PCRF, where 1,200 children were screened and subsequent treatment was provided. Due to the success of the project and the vital need for providing mental care for children in Gaza, we have chosen to support this project for 2017.
Cycling4Gaza has raised £150,000 in support of the Center for Mind Body Medicine (CMCB) and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GMHCP) projects in Gaza.
The GCMHP Project:
– Provided free medicine for patients who are considered hardship cases
– Expanded staff by hiring 6 psychologists and 3 psychiatrists to oversee the treatment of pediatric cases identified and being referred by PCRF and supporting the GCMHP
– Provided toys and stationery supplies for children
– Conducting refresher training courses for 10 PCRF staff regarding self-care and psychological first aid topics
– GCMHP supported 307 new cases, 41% were children and 59% were parents
– Mental health therapists provided psychological consultations for 268 patients, including 93 children and 175
– Launched and executed a mental health awareness campaign:
– Directed towards 8 restricted and neglected areas in the Gaza Strip including Miraj area, Al-Mughraka and Wadi Al Salqa among others
– Prepared printing materials including brochures and campaign stickers, as well as for stationary, hospitality and transportation.
– Coordinated with 49 CBOs in the 8 targeted neglected areas and other areas in the Gaza Strip, and conducted awareness sessions for parents.
– 50 awareness sessions were conducted to a total of 1489 beneficiaries majority of which were women.
Malak is a 14-year-old girl from central Gaza who lost a close family friend. Initially, she did not show symptoms of trauma or any other psychological disturbances, until the last aggression on Gaza in 2014, when her grandmother was killed.
Malak began to re-experience traumatic events through nightmares and her continuous attempts to dig in the dirt, searching for her father’s friend who was martyred in the 2012 war. Additionally, she also suffered from sleep disturbances, hypervigilance and avoided entering the room where Haitham (her father’s friend) used to sit in. Her academic performance was negatively affected, in addition to the impact of her social relations, with parents and peers.
Malak where diagnosed with PTSD – delayed onset. After three months of medical and psychological intervention (family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and, playing therapy) Malak overcame traumatic symptoms.
Malak’s Mother shared; “I would not have believed that this would happen, after two years of anxiety I was losing my child. Malak has returned to her normal life and she is fine now, thank God.”
The CMBM Project:
– Implemented CMBM sessions within the summer camps
– Followed up with children who were in need of advanced interventions which were implemented in parallel with the mothers’ sessions
– Conducted sessions for a new group of children who were in need of psychological support in the neglected and restricted areas
– The CMBM program included 10 sessions and each session was divided into three interconnected and systematic activities. The target groups were Gazan children and their mothers. The children, between the ages of 6 and 14 years, were affected directly by the war and they were suffering from traumatic symptoms, social problems and other behavioral issues. The mothers were included in this project as the caregiver for the children and as victims of the war as well.
– Summer Camps included 8 days of recreational activities were held for 200 targeted children in 3 main locations across
– Following the implementation of the summer camp activities and obtaining the results of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) assessment, an additional 10 sessions were implemented with children in parallel with 10 sessions with their mothers.
– In the third phase of the project, PCRF targeted another group of children to join CMBM weekly sessions, again from restricted and neglected areas from the entire Gaza Strip, through close coordination and cooperation with 10
– 303 children were supported through this program with 572 beneficiaries
Doha is an 11-year-old girl from Beit Hanoun in Northern Gaza. Her parents got divorced due to complicated family issues, which had a significant effect on Doha’s life. She became aggressive, isolated and avoided social interaction. In 2017, Doha participated in the summer camp, sponsored by the PCRF. The summer camp contained both recreational and psychological interventions which helped her to overcome some of her psychological trauma and allowed her to become more social with her peers. After 8 days of summer camp, Doha started to attend weekly CMBM sessions. In the sessions, she showed a number of positive changes to her general behavior and became more involved with talking about her feelings with comfort and confidence in the group. After her discussions regarding her problems in her family tree sessions, she became active and comfortable participating in the activities carried out during the session, becoming calmer and more committed than before. Doha said, “I am using deep breathing as a means of rest and calm when I feel upset. We are so happy because we share fun and feelings among our group.”