a new safe space

May 2024

Youssef (Alias) is a 10-year-old boy living in the Ghazze, West Bekaa. Never attending school before, he is now enrolled in the Basic Literacy and Numeracy program under the “Back to the Future” project. Youssef was a very shy child. The psychological distress of war memories made him a fearful child who considered his tented home as the only safe space. Being very attached to his older sister, the child initially struggled to open up and fit into the learning environment at the center.

The team of educators noticed his struggles and intervened with a tailored approach, providing specialized educational and psychosocial support. Through the efforts of the inclusion department and the PSS facilitator, Youssef’s journey had a remarkable turning point. He started participating in classroom activities, gained confidence, and formed friendships with peers. 

Benefiting from the speech and language therapy sessions and the emotional support, Youssef not only embraced learning but also developed essential life skills, organizing his time effectively and engaging in creative activities with his siblings. This newfound confidence extended beyond the classroom, enabling him to play with friends independently.

Youssef’s mother said: “I am grateful to all team members in the center for helping Youssef overcome his previous condition and become a child who feels safe in his school. I’m noticing a significant change in his behavior and mood, especially when it comes to interacting with others.” 

The “Back to the Future V” program is funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid, and implemented by AVSI Middle East and Terre des Hommes Italy in Lebanon in partnership with Association Nabad for Development, Sawa for Development and Aid, Fraternity Association, Movement Social, and Uspeak, and in collaboration with Bqosta Association, Al Moasat Association, and Phoenix Forum.