Children are increasingly being traumatized by the images of war. Naba’a has initiated several educational programs to help children cope.

Extreme fear has haunted Lebanese citizens in general, especially the children during the war, because of how civilians were targeted – whether this was experienced personally or witnessed on the TV news stations. The images of corpses and casualties of war have occupied a large part of children’s imagination; this was expressed through paintings they drew, and through the stories they recalled about the experience of fleeing death and displacement, as well as what accompanied all of this and the dangers while moving to safer places. It was inevitable that the children would suffer severe unrest and panic as a result of the bombing of infrastructure and the deaths of civilians. In fact, two thirds of the victims have been children. This is what motivated Naba’a to initiate a series of educational activities targeting children. More than 2, 400 children – boys and girls – of different ages have participated. This includes displaced children, along with children from the neighborhoods where displaced people have been sheltered. They liked to participate and play with the displaced children. […] Souad Owayyed, the social worker, said that ‘the children felt happy after participating in these activities. They enjoyed what they accomplished together with their peers. And the fact that they were allowed to choose the activity that best suits them contributed to lessening the feeling of constant worry associated with the war atmosphere. This helped reduce the effect of disturbance and psychological stress imposed on them by war.’

Ghina Ibrahim, 11 year old, said [about the activities], ‘wherever we go, everybody is talking about war and death. Participating in this activity makes me feel more relaxed, and it makes me feel that I’m away from war and killing.’

Such activities have made these children feel happy and have allowed them, at least for fleeting moments, to forget their fears. They have been able to enjoy participating and choosing the activity they like, bringing back some semblance of confidence to themselves.

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