In response to the difficult humanitarian conditions caused by the spread of Coronavirus -COVID-19, Madaa Creative Center Silwan has launched the activities of the campaign “Madaa Al Aman” since the beginning of March 2020.
Since the discovery of Coronavirus cases in the city of Bethlehem we at Madaa Center realized that the epidemic will spread to the rest of the country, and with the start of the closing of the Palestinian Authority schools, we aimed towards helping the students and with the closure of public and private schools and the implementation of the e-learning system, we have developed a complete plan to assist students.
The Center's staff has put all its facilities, tools and equipment into service and prioritized school students, including, of course, the computers that had a major request, since many of the students’ families do not have a computer or provide one computer for the entire family, which prompted us to provide a full range of opportunities for students in accomplishing their homework and assisting them in printing worksheets, researches and tasks, as well as providing academic support with all our capabilities for all students.
It was the case that in addition to academic support we must intensify events and activities to raise awareness to the methods of prevention through practical activities and educational films that help prevent the spread of Coronavirus known as Covid-19. In addition to providing guidance and advice to children and their families, using and following the instructions of the World Health Organization and the competent authorities in the country.
With the increase in the spread of infections with coronaviurs in a number of neighborhoods in the city of Jerusalem and the tightening of procedures in accordance with the declared emergency law to contain the epidemic, Madaa team developed an internal emergency plan that simulates the conditions for the continuation of activities at a certain pace that allows communication with groups and individuals using social media because the stage raises the volume our responsibilities to the local community.
As the activities varied between academic and recreational activities, the activities focused on providing psychosocial support to families and children, especially as they are the most affected group and the most distressed by the current crisis as a result of increased free time and their inability to leave the home to entertain themselves, in addition to creating joint activities between family members, which strengthens the relations between them and reduces the tension and pressure caused by the crisis.
The entertainment activities were artistic activities and handicrafts, from materials available in homes that can be recycled to create works of art. The activities were passed through video clips sent to children for simulation and application inside the home. We made healthy play dough which is appropriate for all ages, and children interacted by implementing the activity and sending pictures and videos of it.
As for the academic side, the educational courses continued from afar and were implemented through communicating with students via WhatsApp groups, where lessons are explained and worksheets are sent to be solved and re-corrected. Children sent some videos applying what has been explained. The space was open for children to make inquiries about their homework. Mothers and their children were provided with help explaining school duties they found hard to understand.
Celebrating Land Day
The Center celebrated the Palestinian Land Day by doing several activities from a distance, where a video of recycling plastic bottles to be used for agriculture was published, then children applied and sent pictures and videos of themselves performing the activity. The field was also open for children to show their various talents by sharing pictures and videos of their drawings and songs that they sang on this occasion.
The Center honored the children participating in the activities by publishing their names on the center's official Facebook page, and providing them with encouragement gifts, which were a bag filled with stationery, art tools and games.
As for the women’s activities, the center continued to pass the usual lessons from a distance. The teachers sent videos to women, explanations through audio recordings, and attached pictures of the steps to carry out the work or activity. The women, in turn, applied the steps and photographed their work and sent the activities to the women group. They produced many different pieces, such as natural soap, women's ornaments, different embroideries, sewing clothes, and produced face masks at home, after their teachers had explained to them how to do so.
The psychological aspect was not neglected, as the mental health department continued to communicate with and activate women using the WhatsApp application, where interactive games were published in addition to providing information about positive parenting methods and the best ways to deal with their children, whether youngsters or adolescents, and ways to alleviate them in light of this crisis.
The Mental Health Department also continued to communicate with the adolescent category, by continuing to hold weekly meetings with them, and providing them with ideas for fun and useful activities and games to spend their free time in positive ways.
In addition, the center has developed an educational guide for parents and children, containing information about the virus and ways to prevent it, as well as information on how to deal with children and ideas for joint games between children and their parents.