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
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.