Kicking the Ball and Taking Care – Developing Sustainability and Local Ownership

Location: Gaza Strip and West Bank, Palestine
Duration: 2013 – 2015
Partners: UNRWA, UNRWA, Palestinian Counselling Center, Gaza Community Mental Health Program
Staff involved: Dr. David Becker, Ilia Castellanos, Dr. Conrad Frey, Dr. Patrick Haemmerle, Kay Kirschner, Dr. Peter Platiel, Christina Wedell
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Status: ongoing

Building on the project „Kicking the Ball and Taking Care – Psychosocial Help in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank“ (2010-2012) this project now tries to assure sustainability and local ownership.

While the first project in partnership with UNRWA, GCMP and PCC tried to develop a model for a low level access to mental health for children and youth through sports activities and furthermore carryout a basic training in supervision and coaching for mental health professionals, the current project on one side broadens the scope of activities and on the other side tries to develop a sustainable local structure of implementation. While project one trained 16 football trainers and had them work in 8 schools and with a total of 800 children now 8 trainers have become trainer teachers and themselves are training 80 new trainers. A total of 40 schools will be involved now thus working directly with 2.800 children. All of this will imply a continues offer in a relevant number of UNRWA Schools for children of both sexes not only to play football but to have a structure group experience in which they can discuss their problems and receive basic containment and if necessary be referred to mental health professionals.

At the end of this project it is hoped that is offer can be a permanent offer in UNRWA Schools and that furthermore UNRWA has an established local training curriculum which they can use in the future. At the same time the project now carries out a training of trainers in supervision and coaching. 100 new supervision trainers are being trained who intern take care of a total of 500 new supervisors. Also in this part of the project a local Palestinian curriculum is being established that later on can be used by the local NGO’s. The project ends 2015.