Beit Atfal Assumoud (BAS) in cooperation with Finnish Psychologists for Social Responsibility (FiPSR) and Finnish Arab Friendships Society (FAFS) since eighties.
Project visit by: FiPSR FAFS
Sirkku Kivistö 13.-26.9.2015, Jaakko Raittila 13.-26.9.2015, Jari Markwort 13.-19.9.2015
Project visit report 1.10.2015 by Sirkku Kivistö
The visit was fruitful and we thank BAS for organising the program and contacts. We were delighted to meet all the Sabra and Shatila Commemoration week guests, long-term partners.
The Finnish supporters sent useful items with us, like knitwear, hiking shoes, dental treatment tools, children´s drawing materials. Some cash money was also sent and delivered in the financial department (for knitting group in Baalbeck and from Global Social Work/Finland for social work in Shatila). The sponsored children and Elderly people got letters and small gifts from their sponsors.
The colouring booklets to nursery children in KGs “Seasons in Finland” by Sonja Karppelin & Kaisa Saurio and “Greetings from Finland” by Elli Parkkonen to children in KG 1 and KG 2 were welcomed. The booklets were distributed also in meetings. (Printable in site http://www.vastuu.fi/main/index.php?fmq=&l=1&pr=2&id=1831)
Several discussions were held about the ongoing projects. Below short description what we decided upon the issues.
About Services for Children with Multiple Special Needs (MSN-project),
BAS will explore the possibilities to establish a service (1-2 classes) and staff training –program for children with MSN. There are some elements there; piece of land in the South etc. Monica Musri writes the first concept paper in order to be able to respond to call of funding proposals. The quality should be like in Lebanese Center for Special Education (CLES)
Semiprofessional homehelpers to families of MSN-children who are not able to go to any school or institution? Beirut FGC will discuss this topic with Dr Rania Mansour, the new coordinator of social work of BAS.
MSN-children already in the special schools 2014-2015 will continue 2015-206, and only a small number of new children are taken in the MSN-project. This is because there will be no Foreign Ministry funding form Finland at 2016. However, FiPSR tries to recruit new individual sponsors.
Application for money transfer for 2016: We decided to apply the total of 35 000 euros support 2015 to transfer for the year 2016. This is because the special schools invoice their tuition fees mostly after the year end.
Evaluation workshops with the beneficiaries: Coordinator Liliane Younes asks all FGCs to prepare evaluation workshops with beneficiaries (apparently mostly with parents, with children/youth if possible) in October-November 2015.
An information package on autism – based on material received from a Finnish self-help group of parents with autistic children – was delivered on flash memory to Family Guidance Center and Santé Sud training program. The content, separated for medical professionals as well as social workers, was presented shortly to the coordinators Liliane Younes and Dr Madeleine Badaro Taha.
Finnish, Swiss and Italian sponsors write a review of the sponsor reports. FGC Beirut prepares a map of special schools which offer places for MSN-children.
About the project Mental health services for refugee children in South Lebanon (Saida, El-Buss) by FiPSR.
Some checking in the budget: costs of group interventions and fees of 2 speech therapists in FGC Saida financial report (Jan-June 2015) will be checked.
Evaluation of the progress in community based mental health model of BAS: First recommendation in the Baseline project evaluation by Dr Aziza Khalidi is: define the own working definition of BAS about community based mental health model. All other recommendations will be checked in FGC Beirut, and discussed further. This year 2015 Dr Khalidi will carry on a mid-term evaluation.
About the project Mental health services for children in Northern refugee camps of Lebanon by FAFS
Budget modification due to the additional working days of some professionals for FGC Nahr el-Bared. BAS will give information about the increase of costs during the latter part of the year. The budget change will be presented for approval in the Ministry.
Baseline recommendations and process of mid-term evaluation by Dr Khalidi like in Southern FGC project by FiPSR (above).
Other issues during the project visit
Discussion about leaving the country is very common now in the Palestinian community in Lebanon. The living conditions are expected to worsen, therefore wishes to escape the situation are much discussed.
Sabra and Shatila massacre commemoration means to listen to the survivors and their concerns.
With sponsorship coordinator Fatima Khaizaran we updated the lists of sponsored children, kindergarten children and elderly persons, and their sponsors.
We wrote every day to the website vastuu.fi about the project issues.
Day by day –program
|13.9. Sun||Arrival in Beirut 14.25, meeting Ms Birgit Ghossoub in the hotel, got donated cloths for children through social work of BAS.|
|14.9.Mon||BeirutThree camps||9:00 With Sabra & Shatila delegation to Bourj el-Barajneh camp. Jari and Jaakko visited the sponsored family Mustapha, Sirkku visited with other group and Mr Samuli Lähteenaho from Finnish Institute a mother with 5 children from Yarmuk, Syria, in Lebanon. The group moved to Shatila center and visited one lady, massacre survivor in the camp. To lunch we were invited to Mar Elias Center, where we saw the document of Syrian refugees in film “We cannot go there yet, my dear” by Carol Mansour & Muna Khalidi.In the evening Sirkku joined the visit to Dr Bayan Al Hout.|
|15.9.Tue||Beirut||Jari travelled to Baalbeck to meet the sponsored family there, accompanied by Fatima Khaizaran. Jaakko joined the delegation program to Palestinian Embassy, and to Mr Hasasn Hobaallah. Sirkku had a meeting in the morning with Liliane Younes in FGC Beirut, and joined in the program in Arab NGO Network for development (ANND) –office at 12:30.Lunch in Shatila center with survivor families. Meeting in Lebanese communist party. Dinner invitation by ANND.|
|16.9.Wed||Saida,South||8:00 departure from the hotel to the South, first to Maarouf Saad´s memorial in Saida.Sirkku met FGC Saida staff and director of BAS center in Ein el-Helweh camp, Bahaa Tayyar. In FGC meeting with three sponsored children. Returned to Beirut by buss.Monica Musri arrived in the evening, we discussed the MSN-project.|
|17.9.Thu||Nahr el Bared,Beirut||Nahr el-Bared with the delegation, meeting also FGC staff members and KG-teachers of sponsored KG children by FAFS.Sirkku: short visit to El Sayed family during the stay in NeBShort visit to House of Active ageing.
In Beirut meeting in Assafir newspaper, and dinner by Mr Talal Salman.
Ms Kristil Haraldsen gave information about NORWAC´s information to Norwegian Embassy: Situasjonen for palestinske flyktninger i Libanon.
|18.9.Fri||Beirut||Sabra and Shatila demonstration day in the Memorial place, meeting with Mr Maan Bashour, lunch invitation by Mayor of Al Ghobeiry municipality.Meeting of Monica Musri and Sirkku Kivistö with Director Kassem Aina about the possible future own service of BAS for children with multiple special needs. Monica will write the first draft proposal.|
|19.9.Sat||Beirut,Cornet el Hamra||Meeting with Diab Kassem in financial department; checked all the financial reports and budgets of the projects.With Fatima Khaizaran checked the lists of sponsored persons. Agreed Jamile Shehade calls Nahr el-Bared center and asks that social worker Leila Jendawi prepares the decision of possible sponsorship application for “Marua” of Abdelhadi family.Monica Musri and Jari Markwort, departure.
Visited Birgit Ghossoub and planned sponsorship cooperation. Donation of cloths from Ms Mrad to BAS/Shatila center, also Arabic children´s books for Arabic speaking asylum seeker children in Finland.
|20.9Sun||Beirut, Shatila||In Shatila to Jamile Shehadeh, discussion about the situation which makes people to leave the country. Also about the situation of young and older generations in BAS staff.Written reports to three sponsors of children with MSN in the hotel.|
|21.9.Mon||Beirut||First in main office with Rania Khartabil about LCF project.In FGC Beirut following for a while the training of neuropsychological assessment by Elie Abu Chacra. Then visit to Shatila center. Theology students of Ruhr University Bochum visited the Sabra & Shatila Memorial place, with them for a while.Jaakko interviewd one family, interpretation by Ashwak Al Shaabi. Visit to the water station of Shatila, which is a disastrous unfinished project, guidance by Jamile Shehade.|
|22.9.Tue||Beirut||Meeting new coordinator of social work, Dr Rania MansourMeeting with Kassem about MSN-issues, e.g. semiprofessional home visitor.Interview of Kassem about trade unions of Palestinians.
Visit to family Jerbi and Shehadeh, sponsored children.
|23.9.Wed||Beirut||Main office, running issues.FGC: Aya Sabbouh and mother, interview and report to the sponsors.Meeting with Dr Madeleine and Liliane about project issues (minutes written). Meeting with Jerbi family members and Mustafa & Basmalla Shehdeh in Shatila center.
Interview of two families by Jaakko for newspaper articles.
|24.9.Thur||Beirut||Visit to Finnish Embassy in Beirut. We discussed about the funding cuts of development budget, the country program of Palestine (if it includes refugees), EU and Finnish additional money for Middle East (how to use money also to strengthen the trustful local NGOs, not only UN bodies, and about the funding of UNRWA, not only UNHCR), local cooperation funds of Embassy (minutes written to BAS about the LCF –issue), proposal to Finnish Parliament members to visit Lebanon and see the refugee situation. We also presented the ongoing projects of FiPSR and FAFS, and informed about 7 advocacy issues by FiPSR and FAFS.|
|25.9.Fri||Beirut||Writing together with Jaakko the articles for website in the hotel. Visit to Abu Talaat in QasQas area in the afternoon.|
|26.9.Sat||Beirut||Meeting with Dr Aziza Khalidi at 9:00 about the mid-term evaluation, and with Kassem at 11:00, discussion about the jobs for young people in the camps. Departure to the airport at 13:00.|