A study by Dr. Cairo Arafat, Director of The Secretariat for the National Plan of Action
for Palestinian Children; in consultation with Dr. Neil Boothby, Professor of Public Health, Columbia University, Senior Advisor, Save the Children-US.
From the paper itself:
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues, reports of increased trauma amongst Palestinian children have multiplied. This study was designed primarily to gain insight into how the children themselves view their situation, and to provide them with an open forum in which to speak.
During the months of July and August 2002, a representative, stratefied, random sample was chosen from cities, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza. Sixty-one percent (61%) of those interviewed live in the West Bank and 39% live in Gaza. Girls and boys were represented in equal proportion.
The study results attest to the children’s ability to be their own spokespersons. They were able to clearly identify risk factors in their lives, as well as the strengths, coping mechanisms or resiliency that they and their families possessed. Parents and teachers were also interviewed, in order to ascertain their views regarding the children’s psychosocial well being, as well as their own coping mechanisms when relating with children in the current environment.
Together the findings form a nuanced picture of the Palestinian children’s well being to date.