Although Lebanon did not experience any destruction as a result of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 6th February, many of the students at the education centre in the Bekaa Valley, funded by Hands Up, had family members who were greatly affected in Turkey and Syria. The devastating power of the earthquakes was, therefore, no secret to them, and this threat was made all the realer as the students themselves experienced aftershocks of up to 6.3 magnitude.
Hisham, a Grade 2 student at the centre, was badly affected by the fear and trauma of this earthquakes, constantly asking his teachers to be in the same classroom as his older brother. His academic performance declined, he took to hiding under his desk during classes, and he refused to go outside to play with his friends at break time like before.
At the education centre, academics are, of course, considered extremely important. But so too is a child’s wellbeing and emotional state. This is why the Protection Team held individual sessions with Hisham, aimed at helping him to express his feelings, help him feel safe again, and gain his confidence back. After several of these sessions, Hisham was back to his normal self, attending classes normally and playing carefree with his friends in the playground, as each and every child should be able to do. Although we cannot change the trauma these children have lived through, from displacement, to poverty, and now the earthquakes, we can support them in dealing with these experiences. We are so grateful to you for your part in this.
If you are able, please help us continue supporting children like Hisham by donating here. Thank you.