Read Sahar’s story and become a Futuremaker today

 

It takes dedication to stand against poverty and injustice in the most difficult of circumstances, which is exactly what our Middle East Christian partners do. Their long-term commitment to their communities is rooted in their faith and never wavers.

We are asking today, if you aren’t already, that you would consider becoming a Futuremaker, a special kind of Embrace supporter who gives a regular gift meaning our partners are able to face not only crises, but plan for the future too.

And by giving regularly to Embrace, you will be standing beside our partners in their mission, showing that your commitment to the Christian presence in the Middle East is steadfast too.

Please, read Sahar's incredible story, below, which is just one example of how your support changes lives in the most desperate situations....

We all understand that when violence happens, people need emergency help for their injuries. What’s not always so obvious is that some of the deepest wounds aren’t visible.

For Palestinian children living in the West Bank, daily life is full of insecurity and fear. Israeli military incursions into schools and homes can happen at any time. A day that starts in relative normality could end in the forceful arrest of a loved one, or worse. The psychological effect of witnessing violence does not fade away.

Our partners at East Jerusalem YMCA are determined to protect children’s mental health.

They are so dedicated to this mission that they overcome all obstacles to reach the most isolated areas, from battling to get permits from the Israeli authorities, to arranging transport capable of negotiating the remote, unsafe and unsurfaced roads. When they receive reports of a violent incident, YMCA sends a team to provide ‘Psychosocial First Aid’.

‘Psychosocial’ refers to the way psychological factors and the surrounding situation combine to affect someone’s mental and physical health. They organise counselling for affected children, using games and art to encourage them to express their feelings and emotions instead of burying them deep inside. Parents can also share their fears and stress, and learn how to support their children.

Sahar, 13, lives in a village near Salfit in the West Bank. A large Israeli settlement stands about a mile away and there have been violent attacks on Palestinian homes and farms. When Israeli soldiers targeted Sahar’s school, the YMCA team arranged for her to get counselling immediately. She and her classmates were able to talk about what happened and learn positive ways of processing the trauma.

‘Friends and family would say I was a bold, powerful and good-hearted girl,’ Sahar says, ‘but I used to feel afraid and unsafe.

‘Since the YMCA sessions, I’ve become more social with my friends. I can control my reactions better and not feel such rage and hopelessness. I want to be a police officer in the future, and I hope we live one day with no occupation in our country.’

You can help support more girls like Sahar, and more projects like this, that bring lasting change, by becoming a Futuremaker.

Click here to find out more, and make your commitment today.

This article first appeared in our Embrace magazine June 2019.