Giving Peace a chance for our Little Angels
As a part of it’s peace-building efforts in the region, IAHV UAE recently initiated Project NOVICE, a unique pilot project from the UAE to promote personal transformation for sustainable happiness and peace among the refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. IAHV UAE and The Lighthouse Cohort, a CSR strategic consulting organization based in the UAE, in collaboration with the UN team operating for children under Project MAKANI , Islamic Charity Centre Society and Palestine Children’s Relief Fund in Jordan and The Dawaer Foundation in Lebanon, carried out this project with a vision to initiate healing within the refugee community.
NOVICE workshops aims to nurture human values through a holistic approach to effectively transform the mindset, attitude, and behavior of children, mothers and teachers affected by conflict and violence.
Children, they say, are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them, casts an impression. While the statement may be unpoetic in its imagery, it is undeniably tragic in its truth. Especially amidst the sounds of shelling and bombs that continue to rain on the tender ears of thousands of children living in the war ravaged parts of Middle East. Many have since fled and are still fleeing their unsafe homes, forced to live as refugees in alien countries. Displaced, scarred and without a glimmer of hope for the future, these children bide their time waiting for salvation.
It becomes imperative therefore to provide these innocent minds and hearts with a tool to heal their mental and emotional wounds even though the cement may have already set. Under Project NOVICE, more than 200 children between the age groups of 8 to 12, taking refuge in Jordan and Lebanon belonging to Syrian, Gaza and Jordanian nationalities took part and were positively impacted by the ART EXCEL (All round training in Excellence) workshop conducted by IAHV trainers during the period October to December 2016. The workshop with its unique blend of yoga for physical flexibility and stress release, patented breathing techniques and meditations for calming the mind yielded remarkable results.
Creative and intelligent processes and games helped the children work through their trauma on all levels, enabling them to freely express the pure joy welling deep inside. Previously ridden with trauma and showing symptoms of PTSD, during the workshop the children were able to sit with closed eyes, delve deep into reservoirs of joy and reflect calmness, belying the outer chaos of their situations.
Maysa'a Moqbel mother of Rahaf, (Age is 11) -
I noticed during the training period Rahaf was more relaxed and playful and she was sleeping only three hours a day then wake up full of energy ready to work & learn, especially in the first day she stayed awake at dawn and carried out a number of activities at home , she was practicing all the activity given by the trainers while she is at home.
In social terms: Become more able to express her feelings very clearly to the members of her family , more integrated with the children inside the training and made friends outside the relationship that she used to do , even she is a shy girl.
On the academic level: She can concentrate more in her classes, got a higher marks , and breack the boarders of laziness to learn .
Sundus a Syrinan national, age 9 participant -
"I had fun with my friends when I played with all of them. Even if I lost and my friends won I learnt from my mistake and I was happy for them. After doing the exercises I felt comfortable and very relaxed I am so happy! I want my friends to come to this program so I can play with them. I learnt the exercises and I started doing them at home and I will commit doing them for the next 40 days.
I loved Manal and her voice!"
The second successful implementation of Project NOVICE was in the Resilience and Empowerment Workshop for women, for the age group of 20 years to 35 years. More than 50 mothers and staff members of charity organizations benefitted through the empowerment and resilience workshops conducted in refugee camps by trainers under IAHV during the same period.
Participants of these workshops experienced a sense of freedom from the old binding chains of fear, anger and hopelessness, with a renewed sense of empowerment, enthusiasm and joy. The juggernaut of personal transformation for peace that has started with IAHV’s Project NOVICE will continue for the foreseeable future due to its successful implementation. IAHV and its myriad partners will not rest till there is lasting peace in every heart, which is the cornerstone of happiness for every individual, nation and humanity at large.
The Amman workshop was organized in collaboration with the UN team operating for children under Project MAKANI and The Islamic Charity Centre Society in Jordan. The workshop was conducted at a UN MAKANI (shelter) center from Monday, 17th Oct 2016 to Thursday, 20th Oct 2016 for 4 hours each day.
The Jerash workshop was a cross border workshop and was organized in collaboration with the international NGO Palestine Children's Relief Fund's (PCRF) team in Jordan operating as on- ground NGO partners. The workshop was conducted at a youth center available near the refugee camp from Sunday, 23rd Oct to Wednesday, 26th Oct 2016 for 4 hours each day.
The project in Lebanon was in association with Dawaer Foundation in Lebanon. The project was from 13th Dec to 16th Dec 2016 and IAHV UAE delivered 2 capacity building workshops for the refugee community around Burj-El-Barajneh, Lebanon.