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A painful Innocence
A painful Innocence

Ahmad Rafat Abu El Ola attending the educational sessions in the Supportive and Remedial Education Project for Orphans in Gaza for the first time.

Ahmed Rafat Abu El Ola is 7 years old. He lives with his mother and 2 sisters in Khan Younis.  Ahmad lost his father when he was just 5 years old. He was not able to understand the absence of his father, but everyday he becomes more aware and asks his mother about him. Ahmed asks questions such as: “Where is my father? Why is he not with us? When is he going to come back?”

Ahmad is suffering because of his father’s death. He never stops asking about him or dreaming that he is coming home, holding him and playing with him.

He is a distinguished boy. Whenever you see him, he will attract your attention. He has a lovely face with an innocent sad look. At the beginning of our project, he was very quiet and isolated. He did not participate or even talk in class. He used to sit alone and away from his colleagues.

The excellent teachers Maysa Nasr and Hana Abu Alian noticed him and discussed his case with the psychologist. Together, they developed a treatment plan for studying using interactive methods of teaching for Ahmad. They agreed to keep Ahmad away from any routine activities.

The psychologist was responsible to support him psychologically. He tried to encourage Ahmad to interact and socialize with the other students. The psychological support plan was applied with the encouragement and guidance of the educational supervisor Fatima Moussa and the full support and great help of the team. All efforts were made in order to help Ahmad.

After two weeks, the change in Ahmad was amazing. It is very hard to describe it, when comparing his first days with us and the way he is now. Thus, we do not find the words to explain it. Only the photos can portray his change and how active and lively he has become.

The first results of our work with Ahmad started to appear after two weeks. He started raising his hand, going to the blackboard as well as asking and answering some questions with the encouragement of his teachers. He participated in all the educational and recreational activities with his colleagues. Here, Ahmad is playing and laughing with his colleagues during a recreational activity implemented by the psychologist and his teacher Suha El Oumor.

One day, while the psychologist was playing with the group, Ahmad stood up and moved towards them in order to seek their attention. He wanted to play with them, but was very shy to do so and hesitated. The psychologist joined him and encouraged him to hold the ball. Later on Ahmad became the leader of the game. Ahmad becomes more confident and sociable day after day.

The psychologist Montaser Abu Shamala implemented many acrivities that aim to raise the children’s self confidance, develop their skills and encourage them to partiticate in other social activities. Also, he helped them to talk about themselves and to debrief their emotions.

This helped Ahmad and reflected on his academic achievements as well as his behavior at home and in school.    

During our work, we noticed that Ahmad loves the English language as he showed a high interest in learning it. He said that he loves his excellent teacher Hana Abu Alian, because she uses interesting methods of teaching such as play and educational games. Furthermore, she treats them very well. In this photo, Ahmad is working with his colleagues identifying capital and small letters.

Continuous progress has shown regularly in Ahmad`s participation during the educational sessions. He became one of the most active students in our project. His participation was also noticeable during science classes. Especially, when his teacher Mrs. Maysa Nasr explained a lesson about the parts of the plants. Ahmed helped her with cutting and gluing in a spirit of joyful cooperative learning.

Ahmed became a happy child, always smiling and laughing, his shining smile brightening the day. His presence makes the atmosphere full of fun, enjoyment and happiness. His mother talked with the group about the changes in her son.  She said that Ahmad has never been as happy as this, especially after his father passed away. She also noticed that his academic level improved significantly after joining the project. Finally, she expressed her appreciation to everyone that helped Ahmad to look hopeful to the future and to think that it is going to be much better than the past.

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