Since January 2018, and in partnership with the ECED Consortium of NGOs, UNICEF has supported access to preschool interventions for 3,268 children (including 1,603 girls) of which 273 were children with disabilities (37% of them girls).
Also, 188 out of 699 ECED facilitators and teachers (98% female) received training with funding from UNICEF. A participatory exercise was undertaken in collaboration with the Higher Council for Childhood, the Universite de Saint Joseph and 69 ECED facilities, to contextualize international ECED minimum standards to the Palestinian reality. An action plan was developed to implement the standards, through a phased approach, across all participating facilities; in a first batch of seventeen facilities, improvement in the physical environment, teaching methodologies, staff competencies and supervision, child protection standards, and inclusion of children with developmental and learning difficulties and disabilities were achieved in the school-year 2017-2018.
During the first three months of 2018, a team of 75 Learning Support Teachers and 32 Learning Support Assistants for Grade 3 at UNRWA schools were also supported thanks to UNICEF funding.
Over 3,357 students with specific learning needs (53% of them female), and 24 children with disabilities were reached through community-based remedial education programme offered in partnership with the Retention Support Consortium of NGOs.
Coordination between schools and community-based remedial programmes was systematized and strengthened, through a process that culminated in 2018 with the establishment of tailored remedial summer courses for school leavers and other students at risk of dropping out. Preliminary results from the monitoring system set up by the Consortium suggest that 93% of the students having access to remedial education support have improved their grades during the 2017-2018 school year.
Community-based psycho-social support (PSS) activities conducted by UNICEF Civil Society Organisation (CSO) partners have reached over 23,793 (56% female) out of school or otherwise very vulnerable children and adolescents since the beginning of 2018. At a community level, UNICEF promoted and capacitated nine community-based Child Protection Networks (CPNs), mobilizing over 8,537 (66% female) community members around the promotion of child rights and the protection of children and women since January 2018. The CPNs have been key actors in the implementation of the End Violence Against Children initiative in Palestinian camps and gatherings.
Adolescent and Youth Development
Through UNICEF’s technical support, UNRWA has developed a Youth Strategic Framework, which is aligned with UNICEF’s Youth and Adolescents Programme in Lebanon. The Youth Strategic Framework was officially launched on May 2, 2018.
UNICEF support allowed UNRWA to reach 46 UNRWA Lebanon staff under the age of 35 to promote positive leadership in 2018. UNICEF’s support for UNRWA’s Youth Strategic Framework in 2018 also allowed for the refurbishment of the two Innovation Labs within Siblin Training Centers, which was finalized and handed over to UNRWA in October 2018.
Innovation Lab activities reached 165 beneficiaries through the Digital Skills track delivered by DOT (Digital Opportunity Trust) and a further 153 beneficiaries through the Social Entrepreneurship track delivered by Nawaya.
With the support of UNICEF content partner ‘Mentor Arabia’, in mid-September the UNRWA Youth Unit also successfully completed its pilot Youth Peer Mentorship (YPM) programme targeting 81 youths in the north of Lebanon and 99 in the south.
Moreover, in partnership with CSOs, 1,465 (846 female) trained on life skills, conflict resolution and healthy lifestyle skills in 2018.
Preventative maternal and child health care services were provided through UNRWA’s network of 27 Primary Health Centers (PHCs) serving the 12 official Palestine refugee camps and many of the largest informal Palestinian population gatherings. The service package included antenatal and postnatal care, immunization programme, growth monitoring, health and nutritional surveillance, and developmental screening. Four thousand six hundred sixty-six children (51% female) under one-year received Penta 1 vaccine and 12,978 children and pregnant and lactating women accessed preventative health care interventions in 2018.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sensitization and mobilization activities were conducted in partnership with the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) in Burj Barajneh, Burj Shemali and Shatila camps. Community mobilization around WASH practices has reached over 24,117 individuals (55% female) including over 3,782 school children (46% female) during 2018.