Funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the project ended with a celebration ceremony which was attended by Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei, General Director of GCMHP, Ms. Judith Daemberg from GIZ, about 1000 children and their families, representatives of the programme, GIZ, and other civil society organisations in the Gaza Strip. This took place in the indoor hall of the Gaza Sports Club in Gaza.
The project targeted 500 children including 240 boys and 260 girls between the ages of 12-17 and including 65 people with disabilities.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Dr. Abu Jamei welcomed the attendees and emphasizing the importance of the ‘Sports for Smiles’ project which targeted children with mental health difficulties, pointing out that the project also trained 20 sport coaches on sport, entertainment, mental health and psychosocial support, inclusion of people with disabilities, first aid and life skills related to sport. It also engaged the parents of the children in awareness meetings on mental health.
Dr. Abu Jamei thanked the four sport clubs in which the project was implemented: Beit Hanoun Youth Club, Alhilal Sports Club, AlMaghazi Services Club, The Palestinian Red Crescent Club in Khanyuonis. He also thanked the GIZ for their support and the project team for its incredible efforts.
Ms. Daemberg talked about the role of the GIZ in the Palestinian Territories and emphasized the importance of ‘Sports for Smiles’ as a means to integrate sports in psychological and social support by targeting children and teenagers. Concluding her note, she thanked the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and the project team and the four sport clubs.
The joyous ceremony included the interaction and participation of the children in many activities which involved sport, entertainment, traditional dancing, and success stories. At the end of it, honouring plaques were awarded to the clubs and gold medals to the participating children.
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
Public Relations and Media Unit