Child Protection: Psychosocial Support Activities for Children in Collective Shelters – Aleppo

In natural disaster situations, adults suffer trauma. As for children, they show immediate symptoms of anxiety, fear, sadness, restless sleep, disturbing dreams, and lack of focus; some of them may even experience what is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Therefore, within the Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan to the Earthquake that struck the city, SSSD, in cooperation with the UNHCR, carried out a series of PSS activities for children in CSs in the city of Aleppo.

These included a group of motor games and drawing activities through which the children expressed their feelings and fear. Protection and safety measures were tackled, coupled with tips that help reduce damage and injuries in the event of aftershocks, as well as a set of general tips on the importance of personal hygiene and the need to pay attention to general hygiene in CSs to avoid the risks of transmitting infectious diseases.

Some of the children’s feedback during the sessions:

  • “I learned how to act during an earthquake and how to protect myself and my family.”
  • “Today I drew everything inside me about earthquakes and wrote alongside the procedures that help me protect myself and my family.”
  • “For the first time, feeling relaxed, I was able to talk about the day of the earthquake. I’ll try to adhere to all procedures.”
  • “Today I was able to forget the fear of the earthquake while I was playing with my pals, and I learned how to act in order to protect myself when there’s an earthquake or seism.”

“I was very much missing my toys and my friends. Since we left home, I didn’t play with them. But today I got to know new friends.”


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