Hello Sesame: A project supporting parents during the crisis – WATAN

Hello Sesame: A project supporting parents during the crisis

Many children in Syria suffer from major mental and physical health issues, threatening their development. To address this reality and to support the advancement of children intellectually, WATAN continues its work through the ‘Hello Sesame’ project. It aims to support caregivers as well as working with children directly and done so within each of the following centres: Al-Hassan Al-Basri, Hamza bin Abdul-Muttalib, Al-Qadisiyah Centre located in the following camps: Siraj, Khan Toman, Habit Al-Khair which are in the cities: Idlib, Harem and Al-Dana.

This was done in cooperation with the International Rescue Foundation (IRC). Activities were set up, particularly to target caregivers and parents of children under the age of eight. This early stage of a childhood is crucial due to the impact it has on all the subsequent stages of the child’s development.

These activities also included sessions on the following topics:

  1. Parenting and the early development of the child’s brain.
  2. Integrated development and the importance of play in children’s development.
  3. How to support children during this stage.
  4. Positive discipline, to control the behaviour of children.
  5. Psychological stress among caregivers, and its impact on children.

In these sessions at the centre, there is a set of planned activities for the children to take part in that aim to support different aspects of a child’s development. The different aspects include physical, mental, emotional, and social support for children, as well as attempting to alleviate the effects of war, displacement, and the hardships they have suffered.

The number of beneficiaries from these activities this month (be that through physical or virtual sessions) reached 222, while the numbers of beneficiaries via Whatsapp reached 102. The number of child beneficiaries is 90 and via Whatsapp groups 390.

It is noteworthy to point out that since the launch of the current phase of the project in January, it has reached:

  • 2,233 caregivers directly. Specifically, 1,070 males & 1,252 females.
  • 918 caregivers indirectly through WhatsApp groups. Specifically, 368 males & 550 females.
  • 1,410 children directly. Specifically, 745 males & 665 females.
  •  4,221 children indirectly by supporting their parents.

The project is expected to continue contributing by:

Increasing the participation of parents during crises in creating and establishing a supportive, safe and inclusive early learning environment. This, thus, enhances the normal life of children by alleviating the toxic pressures they suffer from, and provides an environment that allows for healthy and integrated growth of children. By investing in a programme focused on the children it develops them into dependent and skilled individuals in the future who contribute to building their societies and future generations.