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Home » Elham ambassadors »   02th July 2015Print

Counseling Campaign for Students and Parents in Cooperation with Local Society


Teacher: Nabila Mahmoud Shtayeh
Ein Ereek First Mixed School
Jerusalem Educational District/ UNRWA

Brief Description
Indeed, our inspiring educational initiative goes with “Elham Palestine” vision that seeks to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and social well being of Palestinian children through enhancing the quality of their learning environment. The idea of having a school counselor was put into practice due to the necessary need for a volunteer counselor that the school was not able to afford. As a result, a volunteer counselor expert, and another novice counselor from the local society, willingly agreed to help and work with us. We really needed to take such step to advise our students psychologically and socially especially that our school is a sex mixed school of 5th to 9th graders who were exposed to physiological and psychological changes that affected their lives. Moreover, parents were in urgent need for an advice in order to learn how to deal with their kids in difficult situations appropriately. After the end, students became more self-confident, self-respectful, and more able to discover their abilities, to express their points of view and to define and fulfill their interests.
Outstanding aspects
What made our project remarkable was the great cooperation of the local community. More importantly, counseling did not only focus on the students, but also on their parents especially their mothers and so there was an apparent positive improvement in the way those parents treated their children and that was seen through their weekly visits and by asking about and inquiring on many things.
The impact of the initiative
There was no doubt that this initiative had a positive effect on students, teachers and parents. One of the project’s plans was applying what is called “Group counseling” where studentsgained specific skills and strategies to meet personal goals, explore areas that present student challenges such as surfing the internet and using social networking appropriately. Moreover, students became good thinkers and listeners. They also learned how to organize their time, how to express their opinions and how to do their tasks. In other words, Teachers, students and parents were effective members of group counseling through group interactions and discussions to experience one another. Counseling also reached some parents’ houses to advise them to stop abusing their children.
Success factors
Cooperation from all was the main factor that led to the success of our initiative. For example, the school head mistress, teachers, students, the counselors, parents and the director of education worked together as one hand despite their other responsibilities. As a result, we came up with amazing students and parents.
Challenges and difficulties
As we mentioned earlier, the UNRWA department of education in charge did not appoint a regular counselor for the school. Therefore, we asked for help from the local community and luckily we got a great support from an expert counselor. We also faced difficulties related to time and space, but our cooperation and determination made it easier to overcome such problems.
Interests and social interaction caused by the initiative
The project had a great welcome from the students who to the degree they wished to meet their counselors everyday instead of a two- day meeting week. Students’ attitudes and behaviors changed positively. Mothers also became effective partners in attending meetings, offering help, visiting the school and so forth. 


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