Thursday, 26 November 2015

Hadassah University Hospital

The calls of the Muezzin reverberate through the crisp, still early morning air of the Ramallah valley. It seems so peaceful and innocent. Yet behind the prayers for peace and guidance there are children, Israeli and Palestinian that are suffering emotionally and physically, from the affects of protracted and indiscriminate violence.

Over the past two years I have been working with my colleagues in Jerusalem and the Director of the School of Public Health (Psychology) at the Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem (an Israeli hospital just outside Jerusalem) to design a project that will result in the deployment of a number of trained Child Psychologists who will be available to help children suffering from trauma.

Last week we finalised all the agreements and now, we are all ready to start. Together we are developing a new curriculum to up-skill Israeli and Palestinian doctors and health professionals and over the course of a year they will receive training from world renowned child development and psychology specialists. Each of these 'trainees' has already shown a desire to be used in the alleviation of pain and suffering of children, regardless of race, faith and location - and now, they will learn how better to do this work.

This is an exciting opportunity, one that can benefit both Palestinian and Israeli children - but also a project that reveals a ray of hope in what seems a hopeless context.