Awesome Image

“GCMHP Marks the End of Its Qualitative Psychosocial Support Project – Sport for Smiles”

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme has implemented a variety of activities and closing performances for Sports for Smile project – phase III, which is funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

The Project was implemented over 18 months, with the participation of 500 children divided between 4 sports clubs across the governorates of the Gaza Strip.

The project aimed to promote the integration of mental health services in sports activities through the use of systematic interventions at sports clubs. These interventions were provided in the form of community awareness, counselling, psychological support, supportive professional supervision, training and capacity building, targeting children, parents, coaches and sports coaches.

These interventions improved the well-being of the children and enhanced their coping ability, communication and social skills and relationships as well as their positive behaviors. Equally important, the project built the capacity of sports coaches in providing training that is sensitive to the psychological needs of the children.

The first closing ceremony, which was held in Beit Lahiya Sports Club, and in which the benefiting children and their families participated, was attended by representatives from  GCMHP and the club management.

During the ceremony, Mr. Qusai Abu Odeh, Director of External Relations and Resources Development Department, delivered a speech in which he thanked the donor and emphasized the importance of the project and its positive impact on the psychological wellbeing of the children. Mr. Abu Odeh also thanked the professional and administrative staff members at GCMHP as well as the club's management, coaches, parents and children for their commitment and efforts and the great role they played in the success of the project's activities over the course of 18 months.

On his part, Mr Ismail Al-Baba, President of Beit Lahia Sports Club, delivered a speech thanking GCMHP and the donor for implementing such qualitative and purposeful projects, stressing  that it had a notable positive impact on children in Beit Lahia.

The ceremony also included unique sports performances by children participating in the project.

At the end of the ceremony, the club management and the team of sports coaches were honored for their efforts. Sports gifts were distributed to all the children participating in the project, to encourage them to continue playing sports and developing their personal and social skills.

Sharing its experience, GCMHP confirms Sport for Smile Project  has been a unique example of success in promoting the mental and physical health of children while also providing a safe and stimulating environment of development, learning and healthy social interaction.