Gaza Culture and Development Group ( GCDG), in partnership with Pal-Think for Strategic Studies and the FXB France, concluded a month-long initiative, Molhema, that targeted about 45 women and 60 orphaned children. Molhema included training day and two legal and psychological health education courses for women. Besides, a play for children with Maronite puppets on bullying. This initiative comes as a part of promoting a culture of non-violence project, which seeks to disseminate the philosophy and culture of non-violence.
Additionally, the initiative Coordinator, Ahmad Jawda, said: We have targeted marginalized women living in the east of Gaza areas, such as the Shijaia neighbourhood and the Al-Tuffah neighbourhood, because of their urgent need for legal education and psychological support. Also, he added, We first chose four women who participated in an intensive training day on delivering and running sessions, and they were introduced to many concepts such as forms of violence, non-violence and the how-to conduct it.
Then he added, we organized the two educational sessions for 60 women, where the four women managed these sessions, the interaction between them and the participants were more than remarkable. Plus, we have thus created the sustainability of psychological support and legal knowledge among them.
In this context, Khaled Al-Rayes, a lawyer, said: I came today to enlight women about law and how can it protect them. Also, to let them know that legal clinics provide free legal support for them. Unfortunately, the legal background of participating women has been almost non -existent, because they rely on customs and traditions to solve their problems. Then I found that they were interested, thus they started to discuss their problems and even other women’s problems who were victims of violence.
Then he stressed, Some of the women who initially participated refused to speak publicly about their problems, about their exposure to violence, found that the most violent female participants were their husbands or brothers, especially in the case of inheritance, guardianship and child custody.
As well as, the participant Amal Hamada, aged 30, said: I was subjected to violence from my husband’s family in the first week ofter my wedding. Unfortunately, traditions force women to be silenced when men oppress or hit her.
Then she added, Personally the training was a great help for me and it was the first time in my life that I ran a session with many women in it. As a result, my confidence increased. It is worth mentioning that we became well informed about how to tell our problems.
In addition, we knew that there are many institutions which we can resort to help us in taking our rights. Besides, I will be advising other women and I will tell them that they should resort to legal clinics.
Moreover, Theatrical performances were organized with Marionite puppets as part of the initiative on bullying due to its spread among children.
In turn, Abdul Rahman Abu Rabee an orphan child, aged 11, said: Zalta (the name of one of the characters) was frustrating his companions despite the fact that they had a lovely voice and their talent was great. Consequently, they will never succeed because they are frustrated now.
Besides, he added, I learned from the play that a friend should support his friend and not disappoint him. It is impossible to frustrate anyone now even if by humour.
As for Maryam Abu Rabee aged 43, Abdul Rahman’s mother, said: the play is very important for children to be active members of society and not to be disappointed. These initiatives are excellent because they raise children’s morals and to vent their burdens and bad feelings since they became orphans at a young age and some of them could not see his/ her father.
Furthermore, Sahar Al-Mashharawi, orphan aged 10, agreed with her predecessor-Abdul Rahman-, she said: I learnt that we must encourage talented people so that they will continue working hard on themselves. And I will never disappoint or frustrate anyone.
Finally, it is worth to mention that this initiative is part of the ongoing efforts of Pal-Think since 2007 to empower marginalized groups, promote and disseminate the philosophy of non-violence as a life approach in marginalized areas.