(1 June 2020) Resilience Initiatives for Marginalized Palestinian Communities to Counter Covid-19

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PR/EN/010620/24
 
To support marginalized Palestinian communities in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, BADIL and the Global Palestine Refugee Network (GPRN) organized several events and initiatives from 10 March – 30 April 2020. The activities aimed at raising awareness about the virus in general and preventative measures one can take, , as well as organizing online activities to strengthen morale and resilience amongst these communities. The initiatives came as a response to the failure of various institutions to take adequate actions to support and protect marginalized Palestinian communities – particularly refugees and IDPs.
 

In cooperation with the Lajee Center, the online competition “Stay at Home” was organized, with activities suitable for all ages. The competition included a story writing, drawing, and photography and gardening competition, all aiming at enhancing Palestinian resilience and Palestinian heritage.
 

In cooperation with Aida Youth Center, a different type of contest was launched, aimed at reaching the youth. Each day, for 30 days, an episode from a documentary TV series broadcasted through Palestine News Network TV (PNN TV). The TV series focuses on Palestinian history and anthropology, showing what everyday life was for Palestinians from the beginning of the British Mandate up until the 1970s. The contest posed questions based on the information given in the series.
 

In cooperation with Ibdaa Cultural Center, an online contest was arranged aiming at raising awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic. The contest posed questions about the pandemic, in addition to what types of preventative measures that should be taken.
 

In cooperation with Laylac, mental health and psychosocial support were provided to 24 individuals, mainly students and youth.  The initiative was implemented by a group of volunteers and specialists within the psychosocial field. The focus was on enhancing psychosocial support and stress management skills, increasing knowledge about Covid-19 and preventative measures, increasing self-compassion and the feeling of inclusiveness and belonging while isolated during the pandemic. In addition, the students were offered academic follow-up, as some of the youth reported difficulty keeping up with the school curriculum from home.
 

In cooperation with Al-Shorouk Foundation, the “Refugee Cinema Festival for Short Films” competition was launched. The competition called for short films, covering topics such as: the Ongoing Nakba and refugee rights, the Covid-19 pandemic (especially in regards to marginalized groups and areas such as refugee camps), lack of basic services for Palestinian people, the defunding and delegitimizing campaigns against UNRWA, the so-called Deal of the Century, the right of return, as well as other issues affecting the everyday life of Palestinians. The aim was to raise awareness about Palestinian refugee issues, both in Palestine and in exile, as well as engaging the youth during the lockdown.
 

Furthermore, BADIL in cooperation with Aidoun Center for Refugee Rights provided urgent aid to 312 Palestinian families living in the refugee camps in Lebanon. These families were mainly Palestinian refugees from Syria who have suffered from secondary displacement (refugees who have been displaced twice). The initiative symbolizes the unity of the Palestinian people, regardless of where they reside. Furthermore, Lebanon hosts a substantial number of Palestinian refugees, who suffer from severe discrimination and denial of basic rights - creating one of the worst living conditions in the region.
 

BADIL periodically supports and facilitates grassroots activities and campaigns that aim to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons. This includes not only capacity building, but also financial assistance that contributes to carrying out activities and initiatives that support and/or promote the needs of marginalized communities, as well grassroots movements promoting identity and unity amongst the Palestinian people.