Psychosocial Support

Apr 15, 2021
A young male uses his personal story to inspire other youth to engage In the city of Shoonah Janoobiyah, to the west of the capital, resides Issa Abu Dhefalla, 22. He faced a life-changing dilemma at a very young age, when he had to choose between taking care of his sick mother or preparing for his senior year at high school. He chose the latter option but stayed beside his mother until her last breath. Though Issa remained strong through this tragic event, he noticed that he had allowed his physical disability affecting his arm to turn him into a shy and invisible person in the community. “I suddenly found myself standing in the same spot for years and not even one step further, as I went from hiding my disabled arm to hiding myself,” Issa said. One day his sister encouraged him to join... Read more
Mar 15, 2021
The decade of armed conflict in Syria resulted in some 6.7 million internally displaced persons and at least another 5.0 million Syrians who have sought shelter in other countries as refugees. Global Communities began providing humanitarian assistance in Syria in 2014 and cross-border operations are now based in Gaziantep, Turkey for northwest Syria and Iraq for northeast Syria. Our approach goes beyond handing out goods. We engage with communities and Syrian organizations in the region to help Syrians fleeing their homes to cope with the enormous demographic shifts that have taken place, adapt to their new lives and livelihoods, and build resilience. We provide protection to the most vulnerable in this crisis wherever they shelter for now. The following is a commentary on one of the most... Read more
Mar 04, 2021
"Proud to increase educational opportunities and support COVID-19 response in Sri Lanka" – Ambassador Teplitz By Kathya de Silva Senarath US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Alaina Teplitz, with US Embassy delegates, visited the North of Sri Lanka on February 23 and 24, 2021 to oversee the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) programs, funded by USAID and implemented by Global Communities. She expressed appreciation of the project and said  that the US is ”proud’ to connect students across the island and support Sri Lanka’s response to COVID-19”. During the visit, Ambassador Teplitz ceremonially inaugurated the Virtual Classroom project at Poonthodam Maha Vidyalayam in Vavuniya, which has mostly Tamil students and a few  Muslim students, to link with Sinhala, Tamil and... Read more
Feb 09, 2021
A young male adopts his peers’ ideas and pushes them a step further Refat Freihat, 26, is an active youth with eight years of volunteer experience in his community. Residing in the dense community of Kufranja, Refat was one of the many youths whose parents followed social stereotypes and pushed them to join the scientific track of high school topics in hopes in studying medicine. After many challenges, our friend attained a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Al-Balqa Applied University in Salt. In September 2017, Refat encountered USAID YouthPower at a community outreach meeting at Princess Basma Center for Human Development, where he joined the program’s learning activities and became a facilitator. Through the program, Rafat found the enabling environment that allowed him to learn... Read more
Feb 09, 2021
Originally published by USAID Meriton Binakaj is currently enrolled in online courses to finish high school.  “I couldn’t have done it before since I had a long recovery period from my accident,” he says.  Besides his high school classes, Meriton spends his time virtually participating in USAID’s Up to Youth activities.  Since joining the older cohort of youth in Gjakovë/Đakovica municipality, he has participated in various Up to Youth life-skills training courses, learning about critical thinking, effective communication, community asset mapping, entrepreneurship, and rapid market assessment. “The most exciting part is being engaged in the practical part, when I actually... Read more
Feb 09, 2021
Originally published by USAID It is essential that Kosovo youth have the skills necessary to take part in Kosovo’s democratic and economic future.  Acquiring soft and life skills helps youth become more resilient and makes it easier for them to form multi-cultural relationships and create trust between diverse communities.  USAID’s Up to Youth activity provides Kosovo youth with opportunities to form these skills that are not readily available in schools.  Deniz Hajrullahu, an energetic and enthusiastic 18-year-old participant... Read more
Dec 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled all sectors of society  to face new realities, particularly women as they face increased financial difficulties as well as having more responsibilities with children’s education at home which, for many, is now both the work place and learning space. Women in our society have the  extra burden of providing caregiving to their immediate and  extended family. Also, an increase in domestic violence is reported due to tensions and frustrations building up at home with the lockdown. Women in different segments of society are facing increased vulnerabilities and experience physical and mental assault. Women who are already at risk  due to the work they do are further marginalized and accused of perpetrating the virus spread. There is also a lack in engagement... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath Many agree that suspicion and cynicism against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka existed for some time alongside the larger ethnic tensions between Sinhalese and Tamils caused by the 30-year civil war. Competition on socio-economic gains, land issues – especially in the North and East – and the general lack of social cohesion between communities were some of the factors leading to longstanding conflict. Following the coordinated attacks by a terrorist group on Easter Sunday last year, hostility of extreme nationalists against the Muslim community became much more severe and led to widespread  hate speech, both  online and offline. These destructive acts led to a boycott of Muslim-owned businesses and even vandalism in some parts of the country. (Southern Sri... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath The Covid-19 pandemic is not only a health issue— it is also an economic issue with businesses declaring bankruptcy and many losing livelihoods due to lockdowns and other disruptions to the economy. While significant focus must remain on addressing economic shocks and treating the physically ill, the pandemic’s impact on mental health also requires priority attention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in many countries already, and demand continues to increase. WHO adds that the coronavirus  has reduced access to mental health services and that “bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones,” adding  that... Read more
Nov 13, 2020
USAID SCORE supports persons with disabilities start livelihoods By Kathya de Silva Senarath Thirty-three-year-old Isuru Piyumal, from the rural village of Nugeyaya in Sri Lanka’s most marginalized Moneragala district, had been a dependent all his life. His parents realized when he was just three months old that he had an intellectual disability, and they did everything in their power to make him better. But when his seizures didn’t stop, it became too dangerous for him to continue school. He stopped at age 12 and upon the doctor’s instructions, he was allowed to do what he liked at his father’s chena cultivation where he engaged in watering and weeding. He also showed particular excellence in athletics and won medals at games, which his parents encouraged.  However, Piyumal nor his... Read more
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