“I made many friends and decided not to quit school”

Wafa Dakwar, Medical Aid for Palestinians' (MAP’s) Senior Programme Officer in Lebanon, met with 15-year-old Palestinian refugee Sara. They discussed the impact our ‘Adolescents Health and Life Skills Education’ programme, run in partnership with local NGO the National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training (NISCVT), has had on her life:

“My name is Sara and I am 15 years old. I live with my family in Nahr el Bared refugee camp, in northern Lebanon, where there are many social and economic problems. I was struggling at school; I was not adapting to the school environment and always felt that I didn’t fit in. I only had one friend I liked and trusted. I think the reason for my problems at school was the fact that I was failing in my classes. This matter affected me negatively. My self-image was very bad, and I wanted to quit school.

“My only friend was a peer educator at the NISCVT. She asked the social workers there to help me. A social worker from NISCVT visited me and invited me to participate in the peer education sessions. The project team introduced me to the group of participants in the peer education sessions. They tried to integrate me with my peers and in the various activities taking place. The team helped me improve my life-skills and relieve the psychological stress that was affecting my behaviour. They also helped me to overcome my fear of failure- which was probably causing my poor performance at school.

“After my participation in the project, I became more flexible and my self-confidence improved. I made many friends and decided not to quit school.

“Now, I participate in all the project’s trainings and activities and, when I have free time, I volunteer to assist the social workers in the various activities. I also started having a more important role in my family. I help my siblings solve their problems and overcome some difficulties.

“I am very grateful for NISCVT and MAP for giving me the chance to participate in the project.”

Names changed to protect the identity of persons involved.

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