UNRWA school and psychosocial support counselors gather in Amman for a workshop to develop counselors’ ability to identify and address students’ psychosocial needs. (2023 UNRWA Photo)
UNRWA conducted an Agency-wide workshop for school and psychosocial support counselors in Amman from 11-13 September 2023 aimed at developing counselors’ ability to identify and address students’ psychosocial needs.
The workshop brought together some 44 education staff from the Agency’s five fields of operation, as well as education and protection staff from UNRWA headquarters in Amman. Also present were two representatives of Germany’s development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), which sponsored this project.
Participants discussed the different components and modules of the in-service programme for school and psychosocial support counselors and reflected on different perspectives on the implementation of the programme at the field level.
The programme sought to identify and equip UNRWA school and psychosocial support counselors with the tools to address the psychosocial needs of UNRWA students. One of the highlights of the workshop was the exchange of good practices and experiences among the participants, including providing technical feedback on the programme and developing a forward-looking plan for the roll out of training at field level.
UNRWA Director of Education Julia Dicum assured the participants of UNRWA’s full support of their work and the Agency’s commitment to including psychosocial support as a crucial element of its Education in Emergencies programme: “The role of school and psychosocial support counsellors in all UNRWA schools is key as they help promote positive coping mechanisms amongst the children and help build their resilience,” she said.
This support from the German Government helps UNRWA continue providing humanitarian services to Palestine Refugees and enhances the essential work of the Agency.
UNRWA runs 706 schools for over half a million boys and girl in its five fields of operation, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza.
Through its Education in Emergencies programme, the Agency helps to ensure that Palestine Refugee children across the region can continue to access their right to quality, inclusive and equitable education even in time of crisis and conflict.
In light of the negative psychosocial impact of conflict and crisis on children and education staff, the UNRWA EiE response emphasizes the importance of psychosocial support. UNRWA puts additional school counsellors in place to provide individual and group counselling, provides regular recreational activities and ensures referral of cases to specialized services, if required.
In 2022, the Government of Germany was the Agency’s second largest donor, having contributed EUR 190 million to the Agency’s Programme Budget, Emergency Appeals, the oPt Humanitarian Early Recovery Appeal and different projects. Germany has been a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission since 2005.