In line with the rise in reports recommending psychosocial support to child refugees and their parents, Al Madad Foundation has a sought opportunities to incorporate this into existing projects and to fund projects in this area.

Art Therapy

In 2018 we worked to implement an Art Therapy programme at the Children's Learning Centre in Baalbek, Lebanon. AMF has a natural inclination towards art-based activities, but when exploring potential partners we discovered that many actors in the field were not qualified therapists and therefore not true practitioners of ‘Art Therapy’. As opposed to replicating existing programmes that focus on "art for art's sake", AMF opted to prove the efficacy, and necessity, of having qualified Art Therapists training teachers and parents and intervening with children needing deeper psychological support. 

After an extensive search, AMF chose to work with Artichoke Studio, a social enterprise registered in Beirut and committed to providing Art Therapy services based on high professional and ethical standards. Together we developed a plan to address the particular needs of the CLC community, along with prevention tools and intervention methods to be implemented with pupils, teachers and parents. The project began in earnest in October of 2018 with an intensive preparation for teachers. Artichoke Studio gave them the skills to observe pupil behaviour and assess whether a child needs to be referred for psychological support. Together with adapted training in PSS aimed at developing creative tools and techniques to fill the gaps of the CLC's existing PSS programme, a solid foundation was built from which to begin working with the pupils themselves in January of 2019.

Child Protection

Far from being a 'tick-box' exercise, AMF knows that effective Child Protection can give children the chance they need, through intervention and referral, for a better life. We have been striving to strengthen Child Protection practices across AMF projects. Internal policies have been revamped and, in 2018, we planted the seeds of an exciting new initiative set to begin the following year. The purpose of this forthcoming project will be to highlight the specific needs and challenges around Child Protection within non-formal education, and to produce practical, enforceable steps to better protect the children we serve.