Combating Child Labor Implications in the Gaza Strip

The campaign targets working children under 15 years of age, these children are suffering from the destructive implications of child labor; they are suffering both mentally, psychologically, socially and often physically. The intervention method in the project relies on: (1) establishing children friendly space to provide the psycho-social support, school and recreational activities, literacy and numeracy classes, and awareness for the working children. (2) Increasing the public awareness about this specific phenomenon to have a long term impact of social change towards child labor.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

The campaign contributes in the elimination of child labor and reducing the direct and indirect implications on working children in Gaza Strip.

As the exist of social- economic factors that prevent withdrawing children already working from labor field, by achieving below objectives:
1.Establishing a child-friendly space for practicing all activities.
2.Improving the psychological state and social integration of child labor victims .
3.Rehabilitating working children under 15 to enroll them into formal and non-formal education programs.
4. Enhancing the children educational skills in Mathematics, Arabic and technology.
5. Increasing public awareness in Gaza strip.
6. Build a commitment of employers to respecting labor law condition.

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

- Medical activities in coordination with the ministry of health, (medical examination including blood test, optometry, hearing test, length, weight and physical examination).
- Psychological support including ( home visits, group counseling sessions, arts and drama sessions, awareness raising sessions for children and their families.
- Educational activities (literacy classes in Arabic and mathematics using active learning methodology in coordination with the ministry of health and Ministry of social affairs).
- Community activities through conducting several visits for the ministry of health, ministry of social affairs, ministry of labor, ministry of education and UNRWA.
- Media activities including producing the project film, performing 5 theater shows simulating the children circumstances, drama sessions, training the children on performing theater shows, drawing six murals, three episodes of stand-up comedy.
- Recreational activities including open days.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

Many attempts were done to intervene with the working children in the Gaza strip, but El-Wedad is considered as the first NGO who adopt innovative methodology with the children .
This methodology proved its effectiveness and succeeded to reintegrate the working children in their schools, the methodology included educational, psycho-social and awareness activities.

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

- The life of the 52 working children has greatly changed after being reintegrated in the schools which motivated the families of the working children in the Gaza strip to prevent their children from working and get back to schools.
- The awareness of the local community in Palestine has increased toward the rights of working children which is positively affected the attitude of the local community toward the children.
- The psycho-social status of the working children has enhanced and they became more confident and good members of the community.

CHALLENGES FACED

- Lack of motivation of the children families’ toward the activities of the project.
Solution: the project team conducted home visits for the children families and they succeed in persuading them to allow their children to participate in the project.
- Electricity cut in the Gaza strip
Solution: the activities are scheduled according to the motor electricity.
- Lack of the children's commitment because of their responsibility toward providing their families with the food.
Solution: El-Wedad did its best to provide their families with food packages, and motivate the children to attend through providing them with presents.

LESSONS LEARNT

- The awesome effect of the psychological interventions on the health of the children in labor.
- The importance of the literacy sessions for the level of knowledge of the children in labor.
- Sport activities are considered as important component for enhancing the psychological health for the children in labor.
- The economic situation in the Gaza Strip is very bad and deteriorating significantly which will increase the child labor in the Gaza Strip.
- Many children have suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resulting from being subjected to violence and war scenes during the 2014 assault on Gaza.
- Each family has 2 or more children in labor as these families send their children to work in the streets and markets randomly to be breadwinners
- Children in labor need continuous support on the psychological levels as they were and are being subjected to abuse, psychological pressure and social isolation.

COUNTRY

Palestine

CITY

Gaza

WEBSITE

http://www.elwedad.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/elwedadsocietypage/?fref=ts