Naziha's family forced to flee
Naziha was just three years old when she and her family fled for their lives after violence broke out in the camp where they lived.
For three months, the Nahr al-Bared camp for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was the site of a horrific battle between Lebanese soldiers and Islamist militants. Some 400 people died in the fighting.
The family left with nothing – and their home and possessions were destroyed. ‘We left the camp and went to another camp. I was very afraid for my children,' says Naziha's mum, Malaki.
Conditions in the new camp were miserable at first, she says. ‘We lived in a school playground. They divided it with tarpaulin – two families per space.'
After six months, the family were supported to rent a flat in the camp. Then, finally, in 2012, they were able to return to Nahr al-Bared. But the trauma has taken its toll on the family, particularly on Naziha and her brother.
Our partner Association Najdeh has been helping Naziha come to terms with her traumatic experiences and to find peace.
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Helping Naziha find peace
Our partner Association Najdeh has helped Naziha to cope with her fear and anxiety by giving her counselling.
‘The war had a lot of psychological effects on my children,’ says Malaki. ‘When we came back to Nahr al-Bared, everything had changed. Nothing was like it was.’
Naziha has battled with stress – not just because of what she has been through, but also because she fears what the future might hold.
Naziha sees the centre’s psychologist Diana Abbas. ‘When I have stress, Diana helps me and we talk a little bit so that I remove every single stress. All the advice Diana gives to me, I give to my friends when they have the same problems.’
Malaki has seen a difference in Naziha since she started using the centre two years ago. ‘My daughter sits with Diana and does a lot of activities with her. She helps her not to have fear,’ she says.
'Naziha used to not care about anything. She used to need someone to go with her to school and pick her up. She had a lot of fears, and she was stressed a lot. But she comes to Diana and talks to her, and after that everything is all right.’
Be a peacemaker this Christmas
Will you give a gift to help bring peace to children like Naziha who have lived through violence and conflict?
Peace means to all live in a place where there is no war and where we all live happily ever after’