Description of the programme in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory


War Child is working in Israel and the the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents who are suffering greatly from the conflict. Through music, art, drama and sport activities, they are given the opportunity to express their feelings and deal with their experiences in a safe environment. In addition, War Child promotes the dialogue between the various population groups in order to allow prejudices to make way for mutual understanding and to offer hope for a better future.

War Child financially supports six local organisations:

Peace Child Israel (PCI) in Israel
Peace Child is an Israeli relief organisation formed 18 years ago with the objective of bringing about mutual acceptance among the population groups in order to offer hope for a better future in which both groups can live together in harmony. Peace Child works to promote peaceful coexistence by bringing together Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli children through drama activities. War Child supports the project 'Crossing the Segregation Divide' in which Palestinian-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli teenagers jointly produce theatre productions about peaceful coexistence. The youth are enrolled in Arab and Jewish schools, where the performances are given in two languages for family members and fellow students.

Windows Magazine in Israel and the oPt
Windows is an Israeli organisation that promotes conciliation and understanding between the various population groups and strives toward positive change in the region. War Child supports Windows Magazine, a Hebrew/Arabic magazine produced by Jewish-Israeli, Palestinian-Israeli and Palestinian youth. The groups come into contact with each other through correspondence. In their letters they describe their lives and how they experience the situation. This exposes the youth to the stories, feelings and experiences of the 'other'. The groups meet to discuss the letters, stories and current situations and select those that will be published in the magazine. The circulation of the magazine is 25,000, but it is read by approximately 50,000 people in Israel and the oPt.

Centre for Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation (CCRR) in the oPt
The Centre for Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation (CCRR) is a Palestinian organisation in the West Bank that offers an alternative approach to conflict management. They want to support peace by allowing marginalised groups to participate in decision-making. War Child supports the Young Negotiators Project (YNP) that imparts the principles of peace, non-violence, human rights and democracy to Palestinian adolescents and their parents, caregivers and teachers and provides them with tools for non-violent conflict resolution. The organisation also provides a safe environment in which open discussions can be conducted about the relationships between adolescents and others such as their parents, teachers and fellow students.

Dalal Institution for Culture and Arts in the oPt
The Palestinian organisation Dalal aims to give children who are most severely impacted by the violence the opportunity to be children again for a while. It focuses on children in and around Bethlehem, mainly with regard to improving the psychological health of the children. To achieve this, Dalal lets children participate in creative activities, such as drawing, painting and music, in which they can develop their personalities in an atmosphere that is free of tension. The parents are also involved in this process and thus become more aware of the fact that playing is important for the well-balanced development of their children.

Youth theatreTheatre Day Productions (TDP) in the oPt
Theatre Day Productions (TDP) is a Palestinian organisation that helps children and adolescents better cope with the everyday problems that result from the conflict. They do this by making drama, youth theatre and creative activities a regular part of the lives of young people in Gaza and the West Bank. This enables young people to develop their capability for self-expression and the skills they need to better cope with the situation. War Child supports the Kids-for-Kids project in Hebron. This consists of a series of brief skits intended to increase awareness of the social problems in the Palestinian community. A theatre festival in the Fuwwar 'refugee camp' was also part of this programme.

Young Artist Forum (YAF) in the oPt
Young Artist Forum (YAF) is a Palestinian organisation that aims to improve the psychological wellbeing of children in the oPt. War Child supports the project 'Children of the Wall', in the Palestinian village of Bil'in, which is located near the Israeli wall. Children in this region face hostilities on a weekly basis and live in constant fear. The project provides creative and recreational workshops for children in which they are taught skills they can use to better deal with the occupation. Thanks to these activities, children can process their feelings of frustration and hatred in a healthy manner. The children are visited weekly by a psychologist.

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Karen Doubilet, researcher and doctoral candidate at the Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv

Karen Doubilet, researcher in Tel Aviv: “In this hotbed of ethno-political conflict, Arab and Jewish youth are sharing a vision for a joint future.”

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