Posted on 9 July 2019

Training children to lead on child protection in Area C

An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story

Wala is a 15-year-old girl from Al Jiftlik, a predominantly agriculture-based Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley. Like in many other places across the occupied Palestinian territory, children in her community require protection because they have been exposed to occupation-related policies and practices, like search and arrest operations or demolitions, and affected by destructive social norms or coping mechanisms, like school dropout, early marriage and child labour. For many years, children in Al Jiflik were limited in access to psychosocial support services.

Wala

With funding received from the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF), War Child Holland, in partnership with Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) and the Palestinian Counseling Centre, has worked to improve child protection and psychosocial support for children in Area C. The project has included trainings on children’s rights and the establishment of child-led protection teams, where girls and boys have been empowered to monitor, document and report child rights violations.

Children from rural communities taking part in a training session for members of child-led protection teams. Ramallah, November 2018. Photo by DCIP

In 2018, Wala became a member of such a team in her village. “I’ve changed a lot since joining,” she said. “My interests have changed. Now, I have the responsibility of representing children my age. My communication skills have grown, and I’m able to express my ideas to both adults and children. Additionally, my self-confidence has had a boost.”

As a protection team member, Wala took part in two intensive three-day workshops, where she was trained to document violations and advocate for children's rights. She was particularly interested in education. “There are many violations concerning children’s right to education in my village,” she said. “Many children drop out of school. Boys leave school to enter the workforce and support their families financially while girls leave school early to get married.”

“I wish that children from Al Jiftlik could grow up to become policymakers and accomplish their dreams … We are the ones who will build our future.”

Project name:

Improved child protection and psychosocial support service provision for children affected by the conflict in Area C

Cluster:

Protection

Number of beneficiaries:

1,436

Benefitting communities:

West Bank

Allocation:

US$250,000

Implementing partner:

War Child Holland

Start year:

2018

* This story was contributed by WCH (War Child Holland)