Children and elderly people are among the most vulnerable people in any emergency. Children make up more than half of the 1.8 million peoplein Gaza, whilst about 8000 elderly people live alone. Many of them have been forced to witness and experience things that no one should have to – destruction of their homes and neighbourhood, fleeing from the place they once called home, dead bodies of their families. The trauma they are exposed to can take many years to recover.
But thanks to our DEC member agencies, who have been working tirelessly to scale up emotional relief trauma effort, these two groups of vulnerable individuals in Gaza will now begin the process of healing.
World Vision has been supporting 8000 mothers to perform psychological first aid to their children, and children of their families whom they are hosting in their houses.
Through using methods of drawing, playing and verbal counselling, World Vision staffs are encouraging children to express themselves and cope with feelings of trauma, anxiety and fear. They are opening ten child friendly centres to help children to cope with the terrible events they have witnessed.
Many children have witnessed family deaths, injuries or displacement. Save the Children are reaching over 2000 children with psychosocial support to help them cope with stress and build the capacity of families and communities to support children’s psychosocial well-being.
Age International working through a partner providing home-based care to 1,400 elderly people-headed household across Gaza. They are helping traumatised elder people in Gaza by providing psychosocial care.
DEC member agencies will continue to scale up relief effort in assisting the most vulnerable people with counselling. In just one week, they have reached nearly 20,000 people and many more will receive the help they need to start the recovery process.