Developing Facilitators’ Skills to Provide Psychosocial Support to Conflict-Affected Children
UNICEF, with support from the European Union’s humanitarian arm (ECHO), has trained 82 participants in psychosocial support training programmes for facilitators
UNICEF trains teachers, school administrators, and social workers in Yemen on psychosocial support in emergencies to enhance their knowledge, skills, and approach to psychosocial support and war-related psychosocial traumas.
Iftikar Najib Al-Sabri is a teacher at Al-Noor Elementary and Secondary School in Hareeb, Marib Governorate. She is a resident trainer on psychosocial and educational support for children. She was facing challenges with children suffering from community and domestic abuse as well as other psychological problems. "Receiving this training on psychosocial support has refined my knowledge and skills so I can deal with children suffering from the psychological damage and stress caused by conflicts and emergencies,” she says.
Iftikar has acquired the skills necessary to work as a facilitator at non-formal education centers to mitigate the psychological impact of the conflict on children. "This training was an opportunity to learn some skills and activities designed to deal with conflict-affected children. Puppet shows, storytelling, collage, drawing, and folk games are some educational activities that can be used with these students," she adds.
It was really a pleasure to share expertise and knowledge with other teachers,”
Iftikar, a teacher
"The training has made teachers qualified to provide psychosocial support; equipping them with these skills will help alleviate the suffering of conflict-affected children," Iftikar explains. The training helped her provide psychosocial support and protection for children. "Children are the future, so we have to take care of them and create an appropriate educational environment to ensure they grow up free from mental illnesses,” she elaborates.
Enhancing psychosocial support techniques
Muhammad Saleh Al-Hakami, a teacher in Hajjah governorate, shares Iftikar’s view. He believes that it is his duty as a teacher to provide psychosocial support to children and ease their pain. "The psychosocial support training programme is crucial, given the conditions children live in as a result of the conflict, and its psychological impact," he says. "The training refreshed the skills and practical knowledge of facilitators, giving them further insights into the problems and risks children face. However, the instability of displaced communities and the scarcity of resources remain major challenges,” he explains.
Reaching IDP children
Ali Saleh Salem is a child protection advisor at the local Education authority in Marib. He supervises and monitors the psychosocial training programme, providing technical support to trainers and trainees. "The participants were trained to get better access to internally displaced children and host communities," he says. "In light of the conditions displaced children face, this training programme is critical to support internally displaced children and enhance their resilience," he adds. "This session is part of a series of training courses supported by UNICEF. Some target teachers, some will target social workers, etc.,” he emphasizes.
As of 31 July 2022, UNICEF, with support from the European Union’s humanitarian arm (ECHO), has trained 82 participants in psychosocial support training programmes for facilitators. Another 98 will be trained in the coming weeks to help ensure that every child in displaced communities in Marib has an opportunity to receive the support they need.