Hankematkaraportti toukokuu 2014

Project visit from Finland to Lebanon May-June 2014

Sirkku Kivistö, 26.5.-10.6.2014, Projects Southern Family Guidance Centers and MSN services and Northern FGCs by FAFS

Ferdinand Garoff 4.-10.6.2014 Project Southern FGCs by FIPSR

Purpose: Discuss about the on-going projects and participate in the Mental health conference 6-7.6.2014.


During the visit we had several discussions about the FiPSR projects; ”Mental health services for refugee children in South Lebanon”, Southern FGCs (Proj 85202501) and  ”Services for Palestinian children with multiple special needs and their families in Lebanon” MSN-services, Proj 85202503) and FAFS project,

”Mental health services for children in Northern refugee camps” Northern FGCs (Proj 85201601).


The lecturers from Ghaza to Mental health conference prohibited to come

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland had accepted two conference travel grants for lecturers from Ghaza. Unfortunately, Mr Hisham El Mudallal and Mr Mohammed Abu Shawish from Palestinian Ministry of Health were not allowed to cross the Rafah checkpoint. Their contributions were shortly presented to the conference audience by the session moderators, Dr Rabih El Chammay and Dr Madeleine Badaro Taha.


FiPSR asks The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland to notice the ban, and address the problem to the relevant authorities. The participation of Palestinian lecturers from Palestine would have been of great value to the Palestinian community and their network in Lebanon.


Southern FGCs –project (FiPSR):

The coordinator of social work in BAS, Dr Hind Shaarawi, has started to train the social workers in FGCs (March 2014). Under her guidance the social workers have got templates to document their daily work. Thus, social work is developing more standardized and uniform in each FGC. The number of social workers is on increase.  The social workers held several presentations in the Conference. Thus the community based mental health model has more resources.

In the conference was presented the parents´survey done last October 2013 in FGC Saida by Liliane Younes, Ibtissam Khalil, Sirkku Kivistö and Dr Irja Kandolin. Parents feebback was, tha service has helped children to progress at school, in daily activities and in general, despite the violent environment in Ein el-Helweh. Parents’ satisfaction turned to be high and they were ready to recommend the service to other families who would benefit the help. This means that quality service works also on conflict-burdened communities, and the stigma to seek help on diminishing.

Plans/promises: Every new social worker needs the familiarizing also to the structure and documentation process of the social work in FGCs. Liliane and Dr Madeleine negotiate about it with Dr Hind.

In Saida FGC there is e.g. children referrer by Dr Jihane in 2012 to speech therapy, and they are still on the waiting list. Sirkku promised to check the budget, if there would be some extra donations to increase the number of hours to speech therapiy and psychomotor therapy. Ibtissam promised to inquire from professionals/coordinator about the possibility to get more hours, if there was extra funding for the service.

In FGC Saida there was discussion about how to increase readiness for group therapy or working with groups. Music therapy groups are the first streps.


MSN-services (FiPSR):

We visited 3 special schools (Mousan center, Happy Home and Lana al Mostakbal in Saida and met 7 children with MSN who have sponsors through FiPSR. Tiina Hokkanen, Ferdinand Garoff and Sirkku Kivistö were able to attend the women´s committee meeting in the center.

Again we discussed in Saida and in Beirut about the recruitment of ”professional home-visitor” in families whose children are not able to get a place in special schools or if the parents need special support to guide their children.

Unfortunately, we could not meet the coordinator of MSN-project, psychologist Wissam Kheir.

Plans/promises: FGC Beirut will discuss with Director Kassem Aina about the MSN-project coordination issues and the new ideas for piloting (home visitor).

FGC Beirut presented a list of children who are on the waiting list for academic year 2014-2015, and who need an individual sponsor.FiPSR tries in Finland to get new sponsors/sponsoring groups, and if w edo not succeed, then the scholarship is taken from the project money.

Sirkku Kivistö promised to provide a template for half-a-year financial report.

Mustafa Shehadeh, 10 y., belonging to the MSN-project, has told 16 stories and delivered to the Finnish project team. The stories will be translated in Finland. According to the short information from Shatila center, stories are mainly about football.


Northern FGCs (FAFS):

In both FGCs there are now two social workers, thus doubled the resources for social work. Also they should be included in the familiarizing with the structure of social work in mental health context. The difficulty to get specialists to the North due to the security problems affects both FGCs there. The psychiatrist, FGC team leader Dr Alameddin has resigned in April and FGC Nahr el-Bared will get a new psychiatrist.

We checked with Fatima Khaizaran the lists of sponsored children and elderly people, and made some corrections in the data. FAFS thanks all social workers for the annual reports, of which FAFS prepares a review. In Nahr el-Bared  and Ein el-Helweh Sirkku Kivistö could visit the KG-classes, and got some news of the sponsored children og Family Happiness-project. One home visit was done with social workers in Ein el-Helweh; it came up, that there are families which need home worker´s help. Otherwise children stayed at home to study for the exam, which were going on during the time of the visit.


During the next visit it would be nice to meet the FGC teams in Beddawi and Nahr el-Bared, and possibly participate in team meeting.


Evaluation of the FGC projects

During the project visit in February we discussed about the evaluation plan concerning the Southern and Northern FGCs and met Dr Aziza Khalidi, who was interested in to take the task of the evaluator. She is expert in the community based services development. During this visit Dr Khalidi told that she has started the process by studying the concept of family guidance. She also mentioned that to use the tools of WHO would be helpful in further development of the mental health program of BAS. We decided to write the contract between consultant, Dr Aziza Khalidi and the Finnish NGOs, FiPSR and FAFS.


Following the Educational services –project, funded by Finnish Embassy

Sirkku Kivistö had the opportunity to see the KG and remedial classes for PRS children in Ein el-Helweh Center. KG-teachers Amineh Abd u Allah (KG 2) and Alaá Bazzawi (nursery) have collected 27 stories of children using the storycrafting method. The stories will be translated in English and in Finnish in Finland. The children have promised to publish the stories for interested people.

During the visit time BAS delivered to the Embassy the first financial and narrative report of the project Educational services, prepared by coordinator, Ms Rania Khartabil and the financial department of BAS:


Mental health conference – contribution of Ferdinand Garoff

The workshop “Center for Victims of Torture: A Treatment model” of Ferdinand Garoff in the VIII Mental Health Conference introduced the CVT treatment model for torture and war trauma survivors.  Center for Victims of torture (CVT) was founded in 1985 as an independent nongovernmental organization providing rehabilitation services for refugees in St. Paul, Minnesota. The CVT healing initiative in Jordan began in 2008 with the aim of helping Iraqi refugees suffering from the effects of torture and war. In response to the Syrian crisis in 2011 the program has expanded to provide services for refugees from Syria.

The CVT treatment model is informed by the stage-oriented model of trauma recovery (Herman, 1992). In addition to counseling services provided by mental health professionals, physical therapy and referral services are provided.The  CVT treatment model also includes provision of training and supervision for staff.

The presentation was further elaborated together with psychologist Moath Asfour in a one-day training for staff of BAS and partner organisations after the conference.

In his lecture “Traumatized torture and war trauma survivors” Ferdinand Garoff shed light on the five essential elements of immediate and mid–term mass trauma intervention (establishing sense of safety, calming down, sense of self and community efficacy, connectedness and hope) (Hobfoll et al, 2007.) The resource losses and recovery needs of refugees were discussed and their implications for mental health and psychosocial support interventions of various types in humanitarian settings were reflected upon.

Plans/promises: Ferdinand Garoff promised to inquire the cooperation with CVT/Jordan, if BAS will arrange further training in the issue.



Day by day program

27.5. Tuesday Beirut

Sirkku Kivistö, in the morning meeting in the main office with Director Kassem  Aina and planning the program of the visit.

Interview of Ms Zaher Abdellatif, Director of Bourj el-Barajneh center about vurrent situation in the camp and  news of the 4 sponsored children by FAFS sponsors.

28.5.  Wednesday Saida

In Saida army applying permission to Ein el-Helwwh camp, Family Guidance center, met Dir Ibtissam Khalil, social workers, Ms Mona Abed Aziz (mother for Elias, sponsored child), delivered the gifts from sponsors to their sponsored children.  There were 475 children, 403 families in FGC Saida at the end of 2013. The waiting list for e.g. speech therapy is long, like for psychomotor therapy. In the waiting room Amen Tarshaw, 7 years, told the story “Leila and the fox”. Social workers presented the new work documentation sheets, which they fill. Review they send monthly to Liliane Younes in the FGC Beirut.




Main office, met Mr Abdul Rahim Abdul Majid from Malaysia, visit to Shatila center, met there Norwegian group planning twinning-project with KGs in Lebanon and Norway. In the evening joined the visit to Dr Najla Bashour with the Norwegian group and Dir Kassem Aina.




First meeting in the financial department with Mr Diab Kassem, then meeting in Beirut FGC with Dr Madeleine Badaro Taha and Ms Liliane Younes, about the Southern NGOs project by FiPSR.




Main office, preparing the conference presentation, shortly met social worker Manal Abu El Sheikh in FGC Beirut, then to Shatila and with social worker Zuhour Akkawi and KG-teacher Sana Shehadeh to Haifa school, which had an open day.

In the evening meeting with Dr Aziza Khalidi about the evaluation of the FiPSR and FAFS projects.




In the hotel planning the further visit, walk in the AUB campus, then to Shatila. Lunch in Jamile Shahadeh’s house. Met her uncle who told about his village and life Palestine, where he lived 17 years.




Vist to Mousan Center, where several sponsored children are studying, both through FiPSR and FAFS sponsorship programs.  Then visit to Ein el-Helweh –center; KGs, remedial class, dental clinic, social work, one home visit to FAFS sponsored child with Dir Bahaa Tayyar and Dir Ibtissam Khalil.



North, Beddawi and Nahr el-Bared

Met Beddawi Center staff, social workers Dalal Shahrour and Mariam Khalil of FGC Beddawi. Mariam has started in FGC Beddawi as social worker two months ago. Visited shortly KG classes, discussed with social workers and other staff. The permission to enter Nahr el-Bared camp I got in Lebanese army in Beddawi.

In Nahr el-Bared center saw also KG-classes, shared a moment in the meeting with mothers and children of Syrian displaced families, facilitated by Welfare Association. Also paid a family visit to the rebuilt area of old camp. FGC Nahr el-Bared has also got another social worker and will get a new psychiatrist after Dr Alameddin.


In the evening in Beirut, meeting with Dr Heli Uusikylä, deputy Dir. of UNRWA Lebanon. She decided pay a visit to BAS.




In main center meeting, in the financial department, got information about the MSN scholarships and medication purchases.  Met one father, Mr Alloush, who came to get the medicine to his son. Mr Alloush is unemployed and the situation of the family is hard.

At 11 we had meeting about the MSN-services project, but unfortunately coordinator, psychologist Wissam Kheir was absent. We also refreshed the orientation of the FAFS project plan for the Northern FGCs.

In the evening there was celebration of Day of Finnish Defense Forces, hosted by the Finnish Embassy and UNIFIL, and BAS was invited. Joined the meeting with Director Kassem Aina.

After that we met Dr Tiina Hokkanen, Fida International in Jordan, who came from Amman to share the pre-conference visit to Saida FGC next day.




Ferdinand Garoff, arrived in the night, Dr Tiina Hokkanen and me visited FGC Saida, and with Ibtissam Khalil we visited also Happy Home and Lana Al Mostakbal –institutions for special education. Several children, referred from FGC Saida or through Ein el-Helweh center, attend these schools. Happy Home told, that the board wants to offer places for Palestinian children, but funding for them is problematic, some of them do not have any funding. Happy Home needs renovation, and therefore the situation has become more difficult.

We shared the women´s committee meeting in FGC Saida. Theme was communication, but mothers raised up several other issues.

We had opportunity to discuss about the FGC Saida work with Dr Jihane Rohayem, psychiatrist. It came up that the need of mental health services and help for families is big among the Syrian refugees, but still more needy families there are among the PRL living in Ein el-Helweh.

After lunch we took bus from Saida to Beirut.


Later in the evening it came up, that he two lecturers from Ghaza could not come. They were prevented to cross the Rafah gate.



Mental health conference in UNESCO palace, Beirut

Mr Juha Rainne presented the greeting of Finnish Embassy. Ferdinand Garoff held the session “Traumatized torture and war trauma survivors”. We discussed about the Psychosocial support-project of UNRWA with Ms Virginia Villar Arribas.  During the conference I met also professor Fadia Hasna, who has contacts to Sweden. We discussed how we could succeed to invite Sweden also to share the mental health program.



Mental health conference, UNESCO house, Beirut

On the second conference day Ferdinand Garoff had lecture “The Center of Victims of Torture: A Treatment model” and Sirkku Kivistö “Treatment time in Family Guidance Center Saida and Progress of the child”.  Ferdinand Garoff also moderated one session of the conference.

Discussion with Ms Deborah Parker, Primamateria, Italy, about further cooperation in music therapy training for FGC staff. Met also Ms Anni Kannafani, vice chairperson for Ghanssan Kannafani Cultural Foundation and psychologist Leila Atshan, former conference travel grant recipient of FiPSR and psychomotor therapist, Ms Ea Akashi,  Danish Red Cross.




Ferdinand Garoff met his Jordan CVT –workmates during Sunday, and Sirkku Kivistö visited family of Mrs Sihame Shahedeh in Bourj el-Barajneh –camp and visited shortly Bourj el-Barajneh center, where among other activities Kamandjati music school was practicing.




Psychologists Ferdinand Garoff and Moath Asfour gave a workshop about the rehabilitation model of torture victims in CVT Amman. It was lively discussed.

Afternoon we shared the meeting in BAS main center with Dir. Heli Uusikylä from UNRWA.

10.6. departure to Finland in the morning at 04:10

During the project visit every day briefing in the website vastuu.fi/libanon


FiPSR and FAFS thank all the donors for their contribution: Solidarity Stitches, Vaaka ry,

Eeva-Liisa Aaltonen, Aulikki Ansamaa, Sirpa and Hannu Ahonen, Nina Lyytinen. The donation of Turkish Airlines to get 10 more kilos luggage without payment made it possible to get the donated materials to Lebanon. Sponsors sent small gifts to the children.

Warm thanks for the friendly and interesting stay with BAS and all partners.


Project visit report, prepared by Sirkku Kivistö and Ferdinand Garoff 25.6.2014