Nablus - With the participation of 38 disabled women and mothers of disabled persons and volunteers from the local community, Women and Family Affairs Center (WAFAC) and Sanad Society for PWDs (SANAD) achieved the first phase activities of the initiative entitled "Strengthen the Social Integration of PWDs in our Palestinian Society", which aims to contribute to the psychosocial and economic empowerment of PWDs.
The first phase of the initiative focused on 17 mothers of children with disability and volunteers, who participated in a training on how to deal with autistic children, through ice breaking exercises and debriefing activities, an introduction to autism (definition, causes, symptoms), displaying methods of formal and informal assessment, identifying the objective of cases assessment, training on the basics of clinical assessment, regressive developmental disorders, forms of autism spectrum disorder, adaptive behavior and how to train the child on social interaction skills.
From our belief in the importance of roles integration, the second phase of the initiative focused on training 21 disabled women and mothers of disabled persons, who had previously participated in vocational training in wool knitting and needle within a project with ASWAT Society. The training tackled topics on self-esteem, communication skills, microfinance project cycle management and the art of marketing. In addition, the training covered the basic process of marketing components, identifying marketing problems and solutions, marketing messages, determining appropriate product's price, innovative approach to promote the project, the project's capital and other related topics.
Based on women needs, Dr. Nisreen Barakat was hosted for two days, to talk about reproductive health in general and the health of women with disabilities and addressing the subject of hysterectomy among women with disabilities and without disabilities.
At the end of the trainings, participants recommended to conduct more meetings to improve mothers' capacity in dealing with their children, organizing an entertainment trip or activity for mothers and their children to strengthen their relationship, printing awareness leaflets tackling the training topics. In addition, holding more training in the field of marketing, because number of women has their own micro-project, but they do not possess adequate skills to market their products, due to the strong market competition.
SANAD's manager thanked and expressed her appreciation and happiness in the remarkable evolution of mothers enrolled in the training. Through her observation, she noticed an improvement in how mothers of disabled children treat each other on a daily basis and how they started to share their experiences on the status of their children. She also emphasized the importance of mothers' commitment to such activities, whether in SANAD or similar centers, so that those mothers can be like a special examples; as they are mothers of special children and have to accept them no matter what are the responses from the surrounding which consequently will be reflected positively on their children. Also, she stressed on the keenness of SANAD on communicating with moms through organizing awareness campaigns, whether by arranging a series of trainings or by organizing workshops in the field of learning difficulties and occupational therapy, based on mothers' needs.
In conclusion, we would like to mention that this initiative came as a supportive tool for strengthening the relationship between mothers of children with disabilities and between CBOs and DPOs to work for the benefit of PWDs through real partnerships in projects and activities and the exchange of experiences and cooperation in the planning, implementation and follow-up and as a means of psychosocial support for mothers of children with disabilities in order to strengthen them to rely on themselves and develop their coping skills with the surrounding environment and the exchange of experiences and suffering with other mothers and to overcome introversion and isolation imposed by the community, all in partnership between WAFAC and SANAD and financed by the EducAid.