Aisha Association for Woman and Child Protection

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AISHA Association for Women and Child Protection (AISHA), established in 2009, is an independent Palestinian women organization working to achieve gender integration through economic empowerment and psychosocial support to marginalized groups in the Gaza Strip with focus on Gaza City and the North area. Prior to 2009 and since 1996, AISHA used to operate under the name "Women Empowerment Program (WEP)" as the women department within the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCHMP). Given the change in the mandate and expanding scope of the GCHMP into a knowledge-based organization focusing of action research, training and advocacy, a restructuring process took place by which the WEP evolved into an independent organization, namely: AISHA.

AISHA seeks to protect women and children from violence through supporting, empowering, and raising awareness of important psychological, social, legal, and economic issues. Furthermore, during implementation of its strategic plan, AISHA has developed and applied a Gender Mainstreaming in all fields of implementation

Ever since its establishment, Aisha worked on the empowerment of vulnerable women and children victims of violence in response to the identified needs in the Women and children portion of the community. AISHA started adopting the individual empowerment approach which takes into consideration the individual differences. Accordingly, it has been successful in achieving substantially higher rates of empowerment. AISHA continued a conduit to reach the targeted beneficiaries.

On the other hand, focus has been given to influence the community agenda through the sensitization of key individuals and organizations towards the issues of domestic violence, gender equality, and feminist issues. Also, AISHA works on mobilizing and lobbying opinion to influence and pressure on decision-making to get a favourable laws and legislation for women and children in all fields

AISHA was under the administrative and financial umbrella of GCMHP until December 31, 2010, so AISHA and since it got its new registration started to seek funding opportunity where it get fund to implement some projects, for instance, 105 women get benefited from the Individual Empowerment Program and 680 individual get benefited from legal awareness sessions in addition to other projects and activities.

Vision[edit]

AISHA aspires to play a leading role for protecting women and children victims of violence and at risk and people with special needs in the Gaza Strip to enable them to be active contributors in sustainable community development.

Mission[edit]

AISHA seeks to protect, support and empower vulnerable women and children victims of violence and those with special needs psychosocially, legally and economically through facilitating access to protection and support services.

Strategic Goals[edit]

The following strategic objectives orient all AISHA activities:

1-Increase effectiveness and efficiency of women, with special focus on women victims of violence, participation in community development through enhanced access to support services and protection.
2-a sensitive environment to safeguard and nurture the development of children and their families for better future.
3-Legislators and decision makers, are participating in the process of empowering women and children through favourable laws and regulations.
4-AISHA is a capable organization in the administrative, professional and financial fields.

Targeted group[edit]

The direct beneficiaries of AISHA are women victims of violence and at risk, with special focus on women with disabilities and women headed displaced households, children of these women aged 6–12 years and families of women victims of violence, school counsellors, teachers, doctors and psychosocial service providers.

The indirect beneficiaries of AISHA are the community and the organization staff.

Programs of the Center[edit]

Capacity building[edit]

To participate in building the capacities of the association and of those who have interest, in administrative, professional and logistic fields, with the following aims:

  • Improve the professional and administrative skills and capacities of the Association's staff
  • Gather information on the conditions and needs of women and children at risk or those who lost someone
  • Develop the logistic and information abilities of the Association
  • Document crimes and violations against women and children

Supporting and enhancing women[edit]

To participate in supporting and enhancing women who are violence victims and at risk, gender equality and reducing violence against women and dealing with its implications. Its aims include the following:

  • Enable violence-victims and women at risk
  • Improve the psychological conditions of women and families in North Gaza governorates
  • Improve advocacy for issues of women at risk and families that lost someone.

Enhancing and developing child and family[edit]

In order to enhance child and family through active participation of family and community, its aims are:

  • Provide an environment that helps protect children at risk and deal with chronic phobias
  • Improve community awareness and advocacy towards children at risk and with chronic phobias
  • Improve the abilities of girls' schools in working under pressure and during crises.

Projects, programs and activities[edit]

First project[edit]

  • Project Title: "Empowerment of Violated Women, and those at Risk"
  • Implementation date: 1/4/2011 to 31/12/2011
  • Locations: Governorates of both Gaza and the North
  • Number of beneficiaries: 70 women
  • Financier: SDC Swedish Development Commission
  • Budget: US$87,783

Nature of the project[edit]

The project provides vocational training for seventy women, admitted in two batches, given training in sewing, beauty services, ceramics, knitting and video. As part of the project, the beneficiaries received psycho-support to help overcome their crises, protect themselves and their rights, and how to start a small project, and search for job opportunities.

Second project[edit]

Project title: "Protecting Violated Women"

  • Implementation date: 1/2/2011 to 31/12/2011
  • Locations: Governorates of Gaza and the North
  • Number of beneficiaries: 28 women
  • Financier: Kinna Till Kinna
  • Budget: US$40,826

Nature of the project[edit]

Twenty eight women received services that included individual and group guidance, vocational training and supervision.

The project included home visits to the trainees to check on their conditions and for follow-up after completion of training, in addition to the family guidance visits conducted during the project. The project gave an opportunity for additional outside training, and worked with each participant to check on future planning and thinking in income-yielding projects.

Third project[edit]

Project title: "Legal Assistance and Enabling Vulnerable Groups in Gaza Strip"

  • Implementation date: 1/4/2011 to 30/11/2011
  • Locations: Governorate of Gaza
  • Number of beneficiaries: direct beneficiaries: 500, and approximately 3300 indirect
  • Financier: support from UN Development Program and finance from Japan
  • Budget: US$40,200

The objective was to raise legal awareness among the public in Gaza Strip, and improve legal assistance services in order to bring justice to the vulnerable groups.

Nature of the project[edit]

The project is part of the UN effort, represented by the UNDP, to reduce the effects of embargo and the war on Gaza that resulted in poverty and unemployment. The project works to ensure the right of litigation as a constitutional right, and to enhance the rule of law.

The project provides legal assistance to the vulnerable groups at three levels:

  • Legal education
  • Individual and group legal consultation in addition to mediation that is based on restorative solutions in order to avoid further social conflicts
  • Legal representation including litigation before courts or through other means of conflict resolution such as arbitration.

The project was in partnership with five other associations, namely: Al-Atta Association, Women's Affairs Center, Culture and Free Thought Forum, Women's Programs Union, Coalition for Justice and the National Association for Democracy and Law.

Fourth project[edit]

Project Title: "Improving Palestinian Social Awareness and Ability to Address Issues of Gender Equality"

First part[edit]

Implemented in partnership with the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflicts Resolution.

  • Implementation date: 1/1/2011 to 30/4/2012
  • Location: Governorates of Gaza Strip
  • Number of beneficiaries: 2175
  • Financier: UN WOMEN
  • Budget: US$40300

The objective was to raise awareness among Palestinian society on issues of gender equality, and to build the capacities of coordinators in the schools who will have the major role in project continuation.

Nature of the project[edit]

The project targeted 1500 children from the preparatory stage in UNRWA schools, 500 citizens in addition to 160 initiative coordinators from the schools. The project educates the group on gender issues and violence.

The project consisted of education sessions for the group with discussion meetings between them in addition to training for the initiative guides and coordinators in the schools in order to increase their efficiency in teaching the children on gender equality issues. Among the topics were: school violence, protection of children from exploitation, gender and child rights.

Second part[edit]

Implemented in partnership with "Wefaq Society for Woman and Child Care"

  • Implementation date: 1/12/2011 to 31/5/2012
  • Location: Governorates of Gaza Strip
  • Financier: UN WOMEN
  • Budget: US$50000

The objective was to improve awareness and ability among the Palestinian society to address gender equality issues.

Nature of the project[edit]

The project was a social education campaign for women and men on the issue violence against women, its results and implications and the mechanisms for intervention to protect violated women. The project targeted 720 women and men from south governorates, Gaza and the north through 36 training workshops of 5 sessions each, of which three are psycho-social and two legal.

The project began with a training course on the topics for 20 psycho-social and legal specialists, then four of those were selected who are working in the awareness topic in hand. This will be through Aisha and Wefaq associations and two more partner establishments in the north, and other two in the south.

Fifth project[edit]

  • Project title: "Project for Patients of Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation"
  • Implementation date: 1/5/2011 to 31/12/2011
  • Locations: Aisha Headquarter and Occupational Therapy Headquarter
  • Number of beneficiaries: 15 women
  • Financier: GCMHP in partnership with IMC
  • Budget: US$5340

The objective was to rehabilitate and integrate beneficiaries from occupational therapy and rehabilitation project in the society, and integrating women with psychological disorders in the program for individual empowerment.

Nature of the project[edit]

The project was undertaken in partnership with the Gaza Mental Health Program to provide a group from the beneficiaries from occupational therapy and rehabilitation project in the society with vocational training at Aisha Association.