Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills

by Rebuilding Alliance
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills
Support Social Work in South Hebron Hills

Project Report | Feb 21, 2023
Helping build better mental health

By Maria Syed | Analyst and Strategist

Freehand drawing session for children
Freehand drawing session for children

Today, I met social worker Fatma on Zoom, joined by our Country Representative Nejmah. She shared the challenges of life in the South Hebron Hills and how without any heating, people including herself often get sick in the winter. She told us that all 12 villages in Masafer Yatta including her village of Susiya have no electricity lines. Locals rely on solar panels but it is not sufficient for heating purposes so they must use a wood fire to stay warm. The same is the case with water lines which are also not allowed. These require permits from the Israeli authorities. Additionally, access to health facilities is also not easy because of the ongoing closures in the area. They only get a visit from a mobile health clinic once a week. 

Fatma says that the situation in Masafer Yatta has only worsened in the past few months due to increased military activity and the looming threat of forced eviction, adding to the challenges of the people. Everyone is facing problems due to the closures. Movement is restricted. Children get stopped by the military on their way to school. Mothers constantly fear for their children’s safety. People are unable to enter Israel for work resulting in unemployment and poverty. Even humanitarian organizations are not able to reach people for assistance. Military exercises are stoking fear and anxiety among locals. Given the extent of the challenges, the mental health of the people is suffering a great deal.  

Fatma understands that good mental health helps one better cope with problems. She continues to provide psychological support to the residents of 42 villages. She helps them connect and express themselves. Being surrounded by kind people provides them with the support base they require.  

It is important for mothers to stay mentally healthy, says Fatma, as it gives stability to a family, especially children. Fatma holds support sessions for mothers in two areas: Khalet al Dabeh and Mufaqarra. Due to local and cultural sensitivities, everything these women discuss during these sessions is kept confidential. However, these women are happy to find an outlet. She shares how she has seen a marked improvement in one mother. M (name not disclosed for privacy reasons) was suffering from depression and needed help. Due to her illness, she would shout at her children. As a result, the children developed behavioral issues and became aggressive. M has been getting counseling from Fatma and has been meditating regularly on her advice. M is feeling a whole lot better now. The best thing is her children’s behavior has improved and started listening to her. 

Muhammad is a 9 year old boy from the village of Shuab al Botum who has also been benefiting from Fatma’s support. The Principal of a local school asked for Fatma’s help with the child. Muhammad suffers from a learning disability. Due to COVID, he missed out on his foundation years of school and fell behind in his studies. He is in 4th grade as he was held back one year because of his learning challenges. Fatma asked for the cooperation of Muhammad’s family and his teachers. Under Fatma’s guidance, a volunteer started tutoring Muhammad beginning with the basics and the curriculum of grade 1. She used new teaching techniques with him. Slowly and gradually, Muhammad started showing improvement in learning. 

Thank you for enabling Fatma to help hundreds of children, women, and the elderly with their mental health. 

Helping children express their feelings
Helping children express their feelings
Fatma is helping 370 children
Fatma is helping 370 children
Fatma with the locals
Fatma with the locals
Fatma visited girls whose school was demolished
Fatma visited girls whose school was demolished
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Organization Information

Rebuilding Alliance

Location: Redwood City, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RebuildAll
Project Leader:
Donna Baranski-walker
Executive Director
Redwood City , CA United States

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