From 17 to 20 July, UNRWA, in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Right to Play, held a workshop in Amman for around 50 UNRWA education staff to mark the beginning of an Agency-wide capacity-building programme for teachers, school counsellors and community members across Syria, Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon to strengthen the common understanding of the Agency’s inclusive education approach to psychosocial support (PSS) for its students, both in regular times and in times of emergencies.
The workshop was a positive example of partnership in action, with UNRWA, Right to Play and NRC each sharing and building on their mutual experiences in the area of providing psychosocial support in emergencies. Participants welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the Agency’s wide range of tools, as well as the Norwegian Refugee Council’s ‘Better Learning Programme’ in Gaza, which helps children who are suffering from nightmares. Right to Play supported the training on the UNRWA Psychosocial Support Recreational Activities Resource Guide, actively engaging all of the participants in the recreational activities to demonstrate their positive impact.
The UNRWA Director of Education, Dr. Caroline Pontefract, emphasized, “Children need psychosocial support at all times, but even more so in emergency contexts.” She added, “The Psychosocial Support for UNRWA Schools Conceptual Framework dovetails with the Agency’s overall Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Framework to help school counsellors and educators foster inclusive learning environments and better understand students’ psychosocial needs and how to address them.”