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““Here Is where I Have A Change of Air; Here Is Where I feel Happy””

 Sports for Smile is one of the projects Gaza Community Mental Health Programme is implementing to support the psychsological wellbeing of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The project, which is funded by GIZ, targets children and adolescents who suffer from psychological challenges due to the hard social, economic and political situations.

 

In four clubs across the Gaza Strip, 500 children – 275 boys, and 225 girls – enjoy  a variety of activities that provide them with psychological support through sport and recreation. These activities are implemented by 20 coaches (11 men and 9 women) through two sessions a week.

Children in the Gaza Strip, already suffering from the conflict-ridden context, have had an additional challenge to cope after the outbreak of corona pestilence, which resulted in rather taxing social and economic issues.  

The activities are implemented in accordance with the protective measures which include sanitizing the toys and the tools, observing social distancing and wearing medical masks.

The children always express their satisfaction and happiness with the activities they are engaged with. They believe that Sports for Smile has given them the opportunity to make new friends, learn helpful techniques to deal with stress and be more integrated in the society.   

“I love football so much. Here is where I have a change of air; here is where I feel happy,” said 11-year-old Fadi.