Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed

by American Friends of the Spafford Children's Center
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Making progress with one on one attention
Making progress with one on one attention

When help starts early the progress can be amazing. Parents bring their children to the Spafford Children’s Center (SCC) where they know complex issues can be addressed. Think about Fatima a three-and-a-half-year-old girl living with her family in Jerusalem. Her parents were frantic; why did their beautiful little girl fall so much; why couldn’t she put on a jacket by herself like her brother could at the same age; why was turning the page of her favorite book so hard; and why couldn’t she use a pencil to draw a circle or a picture.

The SCC occupational therapy assessment showed a weakness in her hand muscles, gross motor delays, problems with balance and walking, and eye-hand coordination. Fatima did not have a dominate hand and struggled with visual perception tests. She found it hard to concentrate and often became frustrated with activities.

The SCC occupational therapist and social worker helped the parents understand the diagnosis from the neurologist and how sessions at SCC and at exercises at home could help. Armed with additional understanding, the parents became strong advocates for their daughter and her development.

After four months of occupational therapy services, Fatima showed improvement in holding the pencil, but it was still difficult for her to move her wrist. She can sit in a chair and do several activities for 3-5 minutes at a time. Her walking is a bit steadier and she has enjoyed fun activities at SCC where she can play with other children. Her visual perception has also improved including visual closure or the ability to visualize the whole of an object or picture when part of it is hidden and form constancy or the ability to recognize forms and objects as the same in various situations.

Obviously, Fatima will need more help, but now she and her parents know that progress is possible and she is enrolled in ongoing occupational therapy at SCC. This level of individual attention is hard for Palestinians to find in Jerusalem. Your donations to the American Friends of the Spafford Children’s Center (AFSCC) are critically important to continue theses services to Fatima and other children like her. Remember that all of the money you contribute to AFSCC goes directly to SCC as all AFSCC expenses are paid through donations made by the Board of Directors.

Threading beads is a challenge
Threading beads is a challenge
Helping with hand eye coordination
Helping with hand eye coordination
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Boys learn to relax and control their breathing
Boys learn to relax and control their breathing

Thank you for your ongoing support of the American Friends of the Spafford Children’s Center.  Your interest and donations have enabled us to help the Spafford Children’s Center expand its offerings this year, and we want to take this opportunity to tell you more about how your generosity has aided Palestinian children.

Traumatic experiences are part of the lives of many Palestinian children, and the SCC in East Jerusalem has a new program to help. From years of experience, it was evident that for some children the reaction to trauma is more intense. To help these children, the SCC Director, over several months, worked with the PhD psychologist, the activities specialist who has university training in trauma treatment, and the social worker to design a program to reduce trauma reactions and allow children to focus on increasing self-regulation skills and social support. The Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Project began late last year at SCC.

Whether referred by the child’s parents or school, the first step is assessing the child’s background and family situation, trauma history, school experiences, and current exposure to community violence or other stressors. The psychologist and social worker have found that many of the 50 Palestinian children assessed, to date, display complex trauma, meaning that have experienced multiple traumatic events and other stressful daily encounters including discrimination in their neighborhoods, where societal tensions are constant. Parents are an important part of the assessment process and are engaged in awareness workshops to learn about the effects of trauma and how to strengthen the protective circle around their children.

The trauma specialist meets twice a week after school with children in small groups.  The children know this is a safe time and space to share their experiences. In some instances, the children learn to cope by re-enacting the trauma through play or in collaboration with others.  The specialist uses movement and relaxation techniques to help the children learn to self-regulate when they experience frightening memories or overwhelming emotions. Additionally, the project provides opportunities for children to express emotions through art and writing stories.

The feedback from parents is very positive. Mothers say their children seem happier, less reactive to noises, more willing to talk with their parents, and less withdrawn from the family. Additionally, the children look forward to going to the SCC sessions and speak positively about the time with the specialist. The mothers also say they have benefited from regular sessions with the social worker and are learning to understand the reactions of their children. Due to confidentiality concerns, these pictures are not of children participating in the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Project; rather, they are past images of children at SCC.

Know that your giving sustains this vital healing work.  To make a donation today, please visit GlobalGiving at:https://goto.gg/31839.

Trauma Specialist helps a girl express feelings
Trauma Specialist helps a girl express feelings
Trauma Specialist helps a boy focus his thoughts
Trauma Specialist helps a boy focus his thoughts
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Success at the Spafford Children’s Center is measurable. Children make amazing progress when they have a comprehensive assessment, are given individualized instruction, and are supported at home by parents trained to help them.

Consider Raafiq who was brought to the SCC last November by his mother. The 5th grader lives with his parents and two siblings in Jerusalem. The main concern was Raafiq’s struggle with math; he couldn’t write or count numbers beyond 10 and subtraction, multiplication, and division of two-digit numbers confused him. Raafiq did not know how to distinguish geometric shapes or how to use a ruler. A clock was a circle with numbers that had little meaning to the boy.

The SCC assessment found visual perceptual issues and a poor foundation in arithmetic operations. The teacher found that Raafiq had a strong desire to learn and the mother was committed to helping, although her mathematics education was limited. Progress was steady, but not quick. Raafiq came to the SCC every week (Covid closures permitting) for nearly a year. He worked with the math teacher and came to love the board games with counting, the puzzles that challenged his ability to add and subtract, number cards, and practicing on the classroom white board with two other colleagues in the SCC class. The teacher reinforced Raafiq’s achievements with verbal praise, small gifts, and cards for him to take home.

Now Raafiq can read numbers up to a million, has mastered addition and subtraction, makes his way through three-digit multiplication and division, can distinguish and draw shapes, and loves using rulers, protractors, and calipers. The teacher at his regular school is so pleased she has referred other children to SCC.

Your donations helped to pay for the specially trained teacher, the games and puzzles in the classroom, and the sessions for Raafiq’s mother. Not only has Raafiq made exceptional progress, but his siblings are also benefiting from what his mother has learned. She feels better about her ability to help her children learn and thrive. Coming to the Spafford Children’s Center makes a difference…and you make if possible.

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Children ready to learn in the SCC Computer Lab
Children ready to learn in the SCC Computer Lab

Your contributions this year allowed the Spafford Children’s Center (SCC) to outfit a new computer lab with modern computers.

As tutoring sessions begin again at the SCC, there is a sense of hope and possibility. Some children are returning for second and third courses in Arabic, English, or math, and others are arriving at SCC for the first time. They may be a bit timid with the teachers at first but soon they are racing through the halls and into their classrooms ready for fun with friends. The SCC is now offering computer literacy classes for children and youth who struggled throughout the pandemic with limited access to WIFI and few keyboarding skills. Even those with computers often didn’t know how to use the software packages or how to download homework or upload completed assignments. Classes in the new SCC computer lab will begin soon, and the kids and teachers are excited.

SCC, for many years, has taken a holistic approach to children by recognizing their need for educational, therapeutic, and recreational services. At SCC children receive a full assessment of their strengths and needs, and a plan is proposed to the students and parents. Some children need speech or occupational therapy to help with trauma related or developmental issues. Other kids need academic courses in Arabic, English, or math, and everyone is invited to participate in art, dance, games, and fun.

Please continue to support the Spafford Children’s Center through GlobalGiving. Run by volunteers, AFSCC board member contributions pay the fees for online giving. Therefore, all of your donation goes to provide services for the children served by the SCC. We thank you for your generosity.

This girl can't wait for her lessons
This girl can't wait for her lessons
Celebrating success
Celebrating success
An Arabic lesson at the SCC
An Arabic lesson at the SCC
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Art projects at SCC
Art projects at SCC

If Ever Palestinian Kids Needed Summer Camp… 

…this is the year. For three weeks in July, five hours a day, more than 50 kids, ages 6 to 11, gathered at the Spafford Children’s Center in East Jerusalem to enjoy games, competitions, and art extravaganzas mixed with lessons in teamwork and cooperation. Youth, many who grew up attending SCC courses, have been trained to be camp counselors to help the teachers. Palestinian kids have endured months of school closures and limited online learning and they need to let loose and have fun. Add the educational delays to the trauma they experienced in the recent past, and throughout their lives, and the need for a structured outlet is clear. Is there anything more fun than creating art projects or playing kickball in the Spafford courtyard?

Thanks to our loyal donors we had a successful Bonus Day on July 14. We raised $6,138 in donated funds matched by $2,746 from GlobalGiving for a total of $8,884. These funds will help support a Trauma Specialist at the Spafford Children’s Center. The need is great and SCC is answering that need with help from you. Please give to https://goto.gg/31839. Your donation will ensure that children at SCC get the trauma recovery services they need. Notice the picture of boys learning to relax, breathe deeply, and focus their thoughts....all important skills for children who live in a turbulent environment.

The American Friends of the Spafford Children's Center thanks you for your loyalty and continued support.

Happy summer to all!

Courtyard games at SCC
Courtyard games at SCC
Learning to relax
Learning to relax
Bouncy balls are so much fun
Bouncy balls are so much fun
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Organization Information

American Friends of the Spafford Children's Center

Location: New Orleans, LA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Wendy Blome
New Orleans, LA United States
$100,643 raised of $200,000 goal
 
868 donations
$99,357 to go
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