Transforming lives, empowering communities since 1978

Healing Through Feeling

Healing Through Feeling - Healing emotional wounds in Gaza


Healing Through Feeling

During the 2014 Conflict:

  • 1,462 Gazan civilians, including 551 children, were killed
  • 11,231 Palestinians were injured, including 3,436 children and 3,540 women, 10% suffer permanent disability
  • 18,000 housing units were destroyed in whole or part
  • Over 50% of Gaza’s kindergartens were damaged, and 11 were completely destroyed
  • As of June 2015, less that 1% of construction materials necessary to rebuild Gaza and accommodate natural growth had entered Gaza

Source: UN OCHA

Healing Through Feeling Books

The Blockade, the Conflict and Mental Health  

Since 2006, children living under siege in Gaza have experienced three major military assaults that have caused the death of loved ones and the destruction of familiar surroundings.  The continuous blockade and regular Israeli bombardments create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty that can lead to ongoing trauma, necessitating the engagement of each suffering child’s parents and teachers.

Building a Trauma-Informed System of Care

UPA’s Healing Through Feeling program is building a cushion of support around Gaza’s children by hiring local mental health practitioners and providing them with cutting-edge training and professional development.  In turn, these practitioners forge partnerships with Gaza kindergartens and lead  training sessions for parents and teachers to increase  awareness of trauma and its symptoms as well as to provide tools and techniques caregivers can use to alleviate  trauma in their children.
Practitioners also teach parents and teachers how to identify severely traumatized children.  These children will be referred to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, a UPA partner organization in the Gaza Strip, for  a psychological evaluation and a therapeutic intervention covered by UPA.


Our Vision  is to use the trauma-informed system of care UPA constructs in Gaza as a model for expanding the program to other areas where we are operational.

Join Us to ensure that the most vulnerable Palestinian children have the support they need to heal.  To make a recurring or one-time donation to the UPA Healing Through Feeling Program, visit

Program Partners

In addition to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, UPA is proud to partner with the American Psychological Association, which has granted us access to five of their most effective children’s books on trauma to translate into Arabic and to use with parents, teachers and of course, children. Learn more about the partnership with the APA here.

Donate Now to the UPA Healing Through Feeling Program