Daily life in Gaza is hard for any child and most have some kind of emotional distress. For Children with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, kidney and respiratory disorders face additional challenges. Their families are stressed by worry and the demands of caring for a sick child. They are often bullied or rejected by other children.

MECA is supporting a groundbreaking project run by the Community Training Center and Crisis Management in Gaza to address the psychological and social needs of children with chronic diseases. twelve weekly sessions at a local hospitals include a variety of activities to address issues like expressing feelings, physical strengths and weaknesses, how to deal with conflict, desires and ambitions, making friends, cooperation, how to deal with bullying, and more.

Parents report that children who used to dread going to the hospital, now look forward to the sessions. One mother reported that her child quarreled with a taxi driver because he was late for the hospital and feared to be delayed for project activities. Another said, “My son who is diabetes was not ashamed anymore to take the insulin in front of his brothers or friends.”

Samir, a twelve-year-old boy, said “The best thing I have done is to participate in the activities because they changed me very much. I have the ability to express myself strongly. Even I sleep at night in a good way because I do what I have learned in the sessions.” His mother added, “My son returned to his normal status. He has friends and sleep very well at night. Thanks Allah and thanks for your help.”