At ANERA’s recent Gaza teacher training, 34 teachers at five preschools across Gaza took part in an early childhood development (ECD) training on child rights and developmental psychology.
An integrated and holistic approach to ECD includes using expressive arts and play to engage children in learning and help them maintain a positive outlook. This is vital for children who often undergo trauma at a very early age due to occupation, siege, poverty, and periods of bombing and violence.
Health & Happiness in Developmental Years
According to the World Health Organization, many challenges faced by adults – such as mental health issues, obesity, heart diseases, and poor literacy and numeracy – can be linked back to early childhood. Children in their earliest years, from birth to age six, are in the most important developmental span of their lives. Yet, early childhood development is underfunded and often ignored in places like Gaza. Limited resources are often diverted to post-kindergarten education.
In a Gaza teacher training session organized by ANERA, teachers learn to incorporate expressive arts into an organized and comprehensive curriculum. In doing so, they have the chance to act like kids again, painting pictures, creating crafts from leaves and twigs, and molding clay to create dioramas. These photographs from the session show just how much fun they had!
Thank you to our donors and to Islamic Relief USA for supporting this program.
Teachers create fun dioramas using colorful clay.
Outside, teachers use plants and paints to engage in hands-on learning practices.
A cat wanders onto the teacher training session and a teacher offers him a healthy snack.