Supporting Psychosocial Issues in Syria
The goals of this psychosocial support program in southern Syria (Dar’a and Quneitra) are two-fold: 1) to promote a social environment that protects all children from exposure to situations that have harmful effects on their psychosocial well-being; 2) to ensure the protection, recovery, and reintegration of children who have been exposed to situations harmful to their psychosocial development. The program development and implementation will be informed by Communication for Development and psychosocial support principles.
As of November 2014, 12.2 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria, including more than 5 million children. There are 7.6 million people who have been internally displaced by the conflict. Over 191,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict, including at least 10,000 children with many more being injured.
Continued exposure to extreme violence, displacement, and hardship are known to have both immediate and long-term impacts on children’s psychosocial wellbeing. This prolonged conflict has also compromised individual and community coping mechanisms – leaving children at greater risk of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including child labor, child marriage, recruitment by armed groups, and sexual and gender-based violence.
PCI Media Impact and Lapis Communications partnered to build upon present psychosocial support initiatives. Our focus will be centered around promoting self care practices amongst children and caregivers. Strengthening self care routines will alleviate the distress caused by the intense emotional effects of experiencing conflict and displacement. Programming will consist of communication and strategic information dissemination at the community level. By strengthening and adding to already present community support systems, the improvement of psychosocial issues will be achieved. Providing individuals with the notion that they have ownership of their experiences and environment while re-building their social networks, and providing tools so they can provide self care will ensure their basic needs are met. Thus, children and care givers adopt coping mechanisms and begin to rebuild their physical and emotional surroundings.
A large scale and sensitive campaign, the program is currently in its second phase. We are building an alliance of NGOs and CBOs engaged in this type of aid work in Syria, and providing them with materials to expand programs and outreach. Once aligned, we will implement strong communication and outreach activities relying heavily on preliminary research conducted to ensure actions are culturally sensitive and locally relevant.
PCI Media Impact is designing a strong monitoring and evaluation plan using quantitative and qualitative methods in collaboration with our partners.
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