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Love Aid Singapore highlights psychological impact on Palestinian children amid conflict

Love Aid Singapore emphasized the profound toll of ongoing conflict on Palestinian children’s mental health. Gilbert Goh underscored the prevalence of PTSD among them, highlighting the urgent need for psychological support and restoration efforts post-war.



Love Aid Singapore highlights psychological impact on Palestinian children amid conflict

Love Aid Singapore, in an Instagram update on Wednesday (19 June), shed light on the profound impact of the ongoing war on Palestinian children.

Gilbert Goh, founder of Love Aid Singapore and a prominent Singaporean activist, shared details of a recent Eid celebration organized for Palestinian orphans in Gaza.

Despite efforts to bring joy amidst conflict, Goh acknowledged that the celebrations were subdued due to the continuing destruction and violence, with hopes for a UN-sanctioned ceasefire fading.

Expressing gratitude, Goh thanked Singaporeans for their support, which has enabled the sponsorship of 700 orphans, including 300 from northern regions.

“We hope to sponsor 1,000 orphans eventually so that they can have proper access to food, medication, and shelter,” he said.

Currently, over 20,000 Palestinian children are observing Eid without a parent by their side, many having lost both parents during the eight-month-long conflict.

Despite the challenges, many of these children find solace within extended family networks.

To provide ongoing support, Love Aid Singapore organizes monthly gatherings for these orphans, fostering community and offering crucial psychological support.

“The war has damaged much of the childhood of Palestinian children, and more so for those who are orphans,” he stated.

Goh highlighted the prevalence of PTSD among these children, describing it as a “mental aftermath of the conflict” due to daily bombings and shelling.

Recounting his recent experience in Arish, Egypt, where distant bombings from Gaza were audible up to 40 kilometers away, he underscored the intensity and fear these daily raids bring to children living in places like Rafah.

“Once the war is over, hopefully in the near future, psychological experts could enter Gaza and begin the grim task of restoring the mental well-being of these kids,” Goh remarked.

For those interested in supporting the orphan sponsorship program, donations can be made via PayNow at 87745281.

Sponsoring an orphan costs $80 (US$60) annually, payable in monthly installments.

In concluding his update, Goh thanked Singaporeans for their compassion and support, emphasizing their role in standing on the side of humanity during these challenging times.

Impact of Israeli offensive leaves Palestinian children in mental health crisis

The ongoing conflict in Gaza has left a devastating impact on Palestinian children, with thousands losing their parents amidst relentless Israeli invasions.

According to UNICEF, as of February, approximately 17,000 minors in Gaza were either unaccompanied or separated from their parents, a figure that may even be higher.

A grim new acronym, Wounded Child No Surviving Family, has been coined to underscore the plight of injured children in Gaza without surviving relatives.

Jonathan Crickx, UNICEF’s chief of communication for the occupied Palestinian territories, has highlighted the severe toll on children’s mental health due to the offensive.

He noted that around a million children in Gaza urgently require mental health support, displaying symptoms such as high anxiety, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, and panic triggered by bombings.

Before the conflict escalated, UNICEF had already identified over 500,000 children in Gaza in need of mental health and psycho-social support.

Now, they estimate that nearly all children in the region, totaling more than one million, require such assistance.

Crickx emphasized that a ceasefire is crucial to delivering these services effectively.

“Children don’t have anything to do with this conflict. Yet they are suffering like no child should ever suffer,” he stated.

Even before recent escalations, Dr Mustafa Elmasri, a psychotherapist in Gaza, observed alarming trends among children, including a rise in suicidal behavior and self-harm, as reported by The New Arab.

He recounted distressing incidents such as young children climbing tall buildings or running into traffic, behaviors linked to their traumatic experiences.

Dr Elmasri noted that the sounds of war, including explosions and drones, have profoundly affected children, some of whom habitually scan the skies for signs of imminent danger.

The psychologist emphasized the growing prevalence of suicidal thoughts among very young children, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict.

Many children in Gaza have witnessed the loss of family members firsthand, experiencing the trauma of seeing parents killed by Israeli forces or siblings slain in their sleep.

Dr Elmasri, drawing on his extensive experience in conflict zones, described a pervasive atmosphere of fear and a sense of betrayal among Palestinian children, who perceive the world as inherently dangerous.

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Israel, just like China are containing these special tribes to prevent them from being terrorists. Well done Israel.

GG= most Singpooreans can feel the high cost of living. Are you helping Singapooreans or Palestine terrorists? Recent polls shown that 75% still want Hamas to rule and attack Israel. What do you think?

“The World has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi