In 2015, insufficient accredited partners in child protection response and outreach in Syria negatively impacted UNICEF’s ability to scale-up psychosocial support programming to a level that could meaningfully address the growing needs of children, their families and their communities across the country. A complementary intervention to their existing programming was required that could enhance the ‘self-care skills’ of children, their caregivers and community structures to reduce distress.
In collaboration with PCI Media, Lapis developed a technical capacity building and information dissemination program targeting knowledge, attitudes and practices to children, caregivers, teachers and healthcare workers and the promotion and strengthening of existing support systems.
The key pillar of the program was the Syria Wellbeing Collective – an online and offline platform that brought together Community Based Organisations (CSOs) in key governorates of Syria to coordinate and benefit from technical capacity building, and to enhance access to psychosocial support (PSS) resources and best practices.
The objective was to enhance PSS programming for children and caregivers, and ultimately to increase local awareness of psychosocial distress, locally available PSS services, as well as important coping mechanisms and self-care strategies. The program involved a series of activates starting with a mapping of active CSOs and PSS resources available in rural Damascus, Daraa and Quneitra, trust building workshops with CSOs, brand and portal development for the Collective, capacity building programs, development of self-care campaign materials, campaign implementation, on-ground activations and social media campaign.
- 5 capacity building training were provided, reaching 60 participants, covering humanitarian principles, communication skills, campaigning and community outreach, and self-care.
- On a monthly basis, the members of the Collective reach around 25,000 children through their regular programming. By working together, the Collective enables members to not only improve the quality of their work but also to expand their network and multiply their efforts.
- 136,800 social media post engagements including reactions, likes and comments
- 272.8K video views in 3 and half months
- Individually, popular posts reached between 50-100k people
- In the first four months, the portal amassed more than 7,500 sessions, of which over 6,000 were new – meaning roughly 50 new users come to the portal every day, and 20% of all users come back to the portal at least a second time.