Project visit to Lebanon 11.-21.11.2014,
Kirsti Palonen and Sirkku Kivistö
During the project visits we monitored together with the staff of Beit Atfal Assumoud (BAS) three development projects, which are co-supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
This time we had 9 intensive and fruitful working days with BAS staff in main office and in local centers.
Finnish-Arab Friendship Society (FAFS):
FGC Nahr el-Bared, thanks for Noha Chedid, Nawal El Sayed and Arda Kashkashian for interesting discussion about your work.
The team members will contact the coordinators in FGC Beirut and check the possibility to get some materials for the work. Also, there are needs to furnish the rooms more suitable for working with children.
FGC Beddawi, team raised up the question of school-aged children with learning difficulties, who cannot read nor write. Director Kassem Aina proposed a pilot project, special class for 10-12 children, and will negotiate about it with UNRWA and other actors. Thanks for Dr Rita Hosri, Dalal Shahrour and Rana Ahdab for inspiring discussion.
From both Northern FGCs there are participants in Family therapy training (one day/week, 7 consecutive weeks), given by Ms Yara Doumit Naufal.
The situation of PRS children and families as patients was discussed in both Northern FGCs. Legally the PRS children are not protected, they have more vulnerable situation in case of abuse than PRS and Lebanese children.
In main center and FGC Beirut about FAFS activities
We checked together with financial department and coordinators in FGC Beirut the modified budget 2014 for FAFS project “Mental health services for children in Northern refugee camps in Lebanon” (supported by the Foreign Ministry, proj. 85201601, 172 000 €).
With coordinator of the sponsorship program, Fatima Khaizaran, we planned a survey survey and created a questionnaire to social workers about their experience of sponsorship cooperation. Also there were discussions about good practice of sponsorship cooperation with Dr Madeleine Taha, Liliane Younes, social worker Ashwak Al Shaabi and Dir Kassem Aina and Dr Aziza Khalidi.
Updated the list of sponsorships with Fatima. Met five Family Happiness -sponsored children in Nahr el Bared and Shatila centers.
Finnish Psychologists for Social Responsibility (FiPSR)
Project “Services for Palestinian children with multiple special needs and their families in Lebanon” (MSN)
The modified budget 2014 of MSN project (Ministry, project 85202503, 106 856 €) has been finalized through emails after meeting in September. The budget is currently in the Ministry for approval.
BAS asked to prepare the continuation project 2016-2018 for MSN-project. This must be done during the spring months, and ready in May 2015. Project should be planned using the experience of the current project.
Coordinators told, that classes for children with special needs would be helpful.
Dr Madeleine, assisted by Liliane and Pauline, prepares study about the children with MSN, in special schools 2013-2014.
We planned, how to gather information about the school year 2014-2015 for the progress evaluation. The progress report frame must be updated, and we defined some more questions in the report form. The modification will be done by Liliane and Dr Madeleine.
We did home visits with social workers to two individually sponsored children with MSN.’
We did not get contact to Wissam Kheir to discuss about the unfinished tasks. Kheir left BAS in February – March 2014. The coordination and evaluation work is done by Dr Madeleine Badaro Taha and psychologist Liliane Younes.They get help from social workers in FGC Beirut.
Project “Mental health services for refugee children in South Lebanon” (Southern FGCs)
The modified budget 2014 of this project (Ministry, project number 85202501, 145 480 €) was prepared in September meetings and finalized through emails. The proposal is left to the Ministry 10.11.2014 and is currently in the process for approval. We discussed the budget and the financial report 2014 in the financial department and in the FGC Beirut.
FGC Saida, thanks for the informative team meeting to Dr Jihane Rohayem, Ibtissam Khalil, Dima Saadeh, Mohamad Arrabi, Joanne Abdallah (first day in the center), Fatme Zabatt, Nada Al Zaher and Aya Shahrour, plus Abeer Masri for catering. Worries about the kin marriages and genetic diseases are common in relatively closed Palestinian community.
Dir Kassem Aina had during our visit meeting with some landlords about additional premises for FGC Saida.
FGC El-Buss, we had opportunity to join for a while the training by Mr Ahmad Ghanem of Handicap International. The training for FGC team was about client-centered approach and strategic planning and documentation of the work. In addition, we got information from Dir Khawla Khalaf and Elie Abou Chacra about the community based work practices, task shifting and home station models. It came up, that whole team in FGC El-Buss applies the task-shifting model, but they have not had time to document the work. Proposals: could the team members be interviewed and thus their experience could be documented? These kinds of interviews could be seen as a staff development method. Or could someone help team members to write some task-shifting process as case description.
From Southern FGCs there are participants in the Family therapy training (one day/week, 7 consecutive weeks) given by Ms Yara Doumit-Naufal.
Evaluation of the FAFS and FiPSR projects
Project evaluator, Dr Aziza Khalidi joined the visits in Nahr el-Bared and Beddawi and in the FGC El-Buss. In meetings with her we defined that two main themes are important in evaluation of the projects: a) protection, survival and b) identity (individual and group identity).
New tool for social workers of FGCs – story crafting
With contact person of storycrafting, Hanan Dabdoub, we planned the use of storyrafting method in FGCs. Kirsti Palonen planned the frame: Listening to the families -project. She wrote a proposal for story booklet, including information about the method. She presented the idea of storycrafitng to Dr Jihane during the home visit in FGC Saida and the project idea in FGC El-Buss.
Meeting about educational and other services of PRS children
We met counselor Juha Rainne from Finnish Embassy and project advisor Samira Kheirallah from Deutsche Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and heard about the GIZ cooperation with UNRWA, to develop the psychosocial assistance scheme in UNRWA services.
About the project “Educational Services for the Palestinian Refugee Children from Syria in Lebanon” we discussed with project coordinator Rania Khartabil.
Training plans for two coming years
We had opportunity to join in FGC Beirut in a planning meeting, where French Dr Philippe Dicquemare and Ms Céline Guillaud presented the two years training for FGC staff. The training has three components: 1) prevention 2) diagnostics and 3) awareness raising. The training will start 15.1.2015. The project budgets of FiPSR and FAFS enable this training, which seems adequate to the needs of FGC staff.
Day by day program
|Wednesday, 12.11.||Main office, making the time schedule of the visit. Discussion about the possible survey to the social workers about the sponsorship issues with Kassem and Fatima. Signing the agreement of Hanna Leinonen for psychology internship. Kassem accepted to cooperate with Inna Pääkkönen on he master’s thesis plan “Comics bridge” and with Circus Magenta planning a circus training project in Lebanon and some other countries.Delivery of the materials and letters of sponsors, delivery of knitwear sent by Solidarity stitches.
Delivered presents of the sponsors to Fatima Khaizaran.
Meeting in FGC Beirut, first with the Santé Sud, Mr Yves Bernaud and Ms Celine Guillaud about the training program for FGC staff 2015-2016, then with Dr Madeleine and Liliane about the study of sponsored MSN children 2013-2014. We spoke also about the good practice of sponsorship and especially about the communication between sponsors and the children.
|Thursday 13.11.||8.30 to FGC Saida with Celine Guillaud from Sante Sud. We attended the team meeting, where new and follow-up cases were discussed by Dr Jihane, Ibtissam, Fatmi, Dima, Mohammed, Aya and Nada, and the preparations of several treatment and advisory groups were checked. We met speech therapist Joanne Abdullah, who was for the first day in FGC. Director Bahaa Tayyar from Ein el-Helweh center came and we discussed about some sponsorship cases. She also told about the plans how to prevent the tensions to grow between Lebanon Palestinian and Syrian Palestinian children.In the evening we met Dr Aziza Khalidi and discussed about the evaluation of the projects.|
|Friday 14.11.||Visit to Shatila center, mediated greetings from Global Social Work and from intern Laura Moilanen to the social workers. Met Adam Al Omary and Haneen Al Gush, who have sponsors from Finland through Finnish-Arab Friendship Society. Director Jamile Shehade told about the activities and service for PRS families.FGC Beirut at 12 team meeting and afterwards review of the projects/outputs with coordinators Dr Madeleine Taha and psychologist Liliane.|
|Saturday 15.11.||Sirkku Kivistö had a meeting in the morning in financial department. BAS gave the list of the costs of tuition fees of MSN-project to FiPSR. With Abu Talaat all the modificated project budgets were checked and discussed about the prerapations for the annual financial reports. Then we both had a meeting in Embroidery Center with Hanan Dabdoub about the storycrafting project, how to integrate it to the social work in FGCs.In Shatila center we had opportunity to participate in birthday party for three 5-year old children. The party was prepared by parents. Then we met two sponsored children, sponsored through FAFS: Adam Al Omary and Maryam Nasser. We met also Mustafa Shehade, sponsored through FiPSR in MSN-project. We shared the lunch with social workers and some kindergarten teachers in Shatila center.|
|Sunday 16.11.||We planned the storycrafting project and wrote minutes about the MSN monitoring and evaluation plan and the modification of the progress report form. Then we had a pleasant invitation in Bchamoun to Dr Aziza Khalidi, who is evaluator of the FGC projects.|
|Monday 17.11.||We planned the rest of the days with Director Kassem Aina, then worked on the survey questions for social workers about the sponsorship program. This we did with Fatima Khaizaran. With Rania Khartabil we discussed about the project funded by the Finnish Embassy. Also some more information about the MSN tuition fees paid for the special schools 2013-2014. Then we met in Cafe Dar project advisor, Ms Samira Kheirallah, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (giz) German cooperation and Mr Juha Rainne. The subject of the meeting was the assistance for PRSs in Lebanon and mainstreaming UNRWA psychosocial services.|
|Tuesday 18.11.||Main center, current issues managed. Then joining the family therapy training for FGC staff in FGC Beirut, trainer Ms Yara Doumat-Naufal and 20 attendees. In main center again modifications to sponsorship survey, and discussion with Mr Samer Nasser about the FGC costs in audit report. Then to Shatila center and with social workers Zuhour Akkawi and Jamile Shehadeh visits to Mona Jerbi’s and Mustafa Shehadeh’s families; the children are sponsored through MSN projec. In the evening with Kassem Aina visit to Dr Najla Bashour, the chairperson of NISCVT board.|
|Wednesday 19.11.||FGC Nahr el Bared, meeting with speech therapist Noha Chedid, special educator Nawal el Sayed and psychologist Arda Kashkasian. Also, mother and sister of one sponsored child was met, and greetings to the sponsor sent.Afternoon we visited Beddawi FGC. Dr Rita Hosri, social worker Dalal Shahrour and special educator Rasna Ahdab shared the meetings. First, the right to education for children with special needs or learning difficulties was discussed, screening activities in KGs, campaign against drugs and early marriages. Dr Aziza Khalidi, evaluator of the FGC project shared both visits.|
|Thursday 20.11.||FGC El-Buss, participating in the training of Handicap International HI with FGC staff. HI finances the work in FGC El Buss until 2017. Dir Khawla Khalaff informed about the task shifting activity of the center, psychologist Elie Abu Chacra told some example of the task shifting. Kirsti Palonen presented the storycrafting method to Khawla Khalaff and representatives of HI, Mr Ahmad Ghanim and Ms Noura Khaled. On the way back we discussed with Dir Kassem Aina and Dr Aziza Khalidi about the themes of the HI training. We also had meeting with Dr Aziza to plan the evaluation process.|
Coordinator Sirkku.Kivisto (at) gmail.com
+358 400 457 493