In this blog, Hala Najm, health promotion and adolescent health expert and senior programs associate at Mentor Arabia Foundation reflects and shares lessons learned from the experience of moving social and emotional learning programs to online platforms with children in Lebanon.
Growing up in a highly connected world, the internet has become a natural part of children’s day to day lives around the globe. It is a means that, especially during the pandemic, has helped us all socialize and stay connected. In fact, the pandemic has fuelled this digital age which seems to be the new trend. Working from home, online learning, virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, birthday events and weddings became a big hit and the new norm.
In Lebanon, working remotely was the solution to many challenges that the country was facing. Starting with civil unrest and ongoing protests; the devaluation of the local currency leading to an economic crash; the pandemic which led to the closure of many businesses; and the cherry on top was Beirut Blast, in 2020, the third-largest non-nuclear explosion in history, which left more than 200 dead and 10,000+ injured. Amid this ongoing humanitarian crisis, the mental health and wellbeing of adults as well as children and youth is greatly affected. Psychosocial support (PSS) programs are the cornerstone to help maintain a resilient generation as they pass through difficulties and overcame traumatic events1. Continue reading
- UNICEF. (2019). Mental health and psychosocial technical note. New York.