NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER – PART TWO

BINATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM PASSES ITS HALFWAY POINT

Trauma in conflict zones sadly knows no boundaries, resulting in high levels of PTSD in innocent children. Project Rozana’s investment in The Binational School of Psychotherapy assists children and adolescents from East Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza and Israel.

The two-year training program for 29 mental health professionals recently passed its halfway point. It is designed to improve the mental healthcare and treatment for conflict-affected young people.

Led by Dr Esti Galili-Weisstub of Hadassah Medical Organization (pictured above), it is working in partnership with Hebron-based Green Land Society for Health Development.

The program’s objective is to contribute to cross-border learning and cooperation between mental health professionals from Palestine and Israel. And thus, the healthcare for affected children and adolescents.

Ruth Ramone Rosen, Executive Director of Project Rozana says,

The premise is that long term exposure and learning exchanges among the trainees will yield to long term relationships, building of trust and better healthcare treatment.

In the first interim report provided to the EU Peace Fund and the Project Rozana International Board, the program’s leaders reported how implementation worked. It covered establishing project structures and processes, to selecting appropriate mental health professionals for the first cohort of Israeli and Palestinian therapists.

A key initiative was to invite therapists from diverse demographic sectors in Israel and Palestine.

Renowned expert consultants and professors from both communities were invited to participate and provide seminars and lectures for the program. As a result of COVID-19, activities pivoted from face-to-face to a virtual model of remote learning, which proved successful.

The first part of the program introduced…

  • Basic concepts of psychotherapy.
  • Traditional psychoanalytical concepts and intervention with children.
  • Basic coverage of the Jungian concepts in psychotherapy.
  • Culturally-related psychotherapy. Cultures include Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Christians and minorities in Israel such as Ethiopian Jews and Russians.

This better understanding of cultures and religious backgrounds, addressed the tension between the client and the therapist.

Another interesting topic presented a pathway to a more peaceful and sustainable world seen through the transformative power of children in families.

The project team reported the success of online exchanges for the delivery of some theoretical aspects of the teaching. As well as online education being a safe and supportive environment for group activities.

“The report noted the strategies building connections across borders despite the political and COVID-19 challenges. These strategies helped the selection of students and teachers, and a successful first year of the course.”

Ruth Ramone Rosen, Project Rozana

Program leaders continue to monitor individual students especially the support of volunteer professionals.

The participants say they are acquiring a range of practical skills in mental health clinical treatment of children and adolescents. And building strong, dynamic cross-border relationships.

We look forward to reviewing the data presented in the next report and learning the progress of the first cohort.

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING

For long-standing activists in the Israel-Palestine space there is a palpable change in the air.

And it’s a positive one. It involves people engaging with people, and being supported by key political players including the US, the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority.

It is felt on the ground with the expansion of people-to-people projects in the strong belief that investing in cross-border programs will progressively and significantly expand the community of individuals on both sides who are getting to know the “other”.

In December 2020 the US Congress passed a game-changing piece of legislation: The Middle East Partnerships for Peace Act (MEPPA).

US$250,000,000 will be deployed over five years into cross border Israel-Palestine programs. A proportion will be economic but, according to Samantha Power, the Administrator of USAID – the Agency that will administer the funds – the majority of the funding will be channelled to people-to-people initiatives.

The promotion of these new programs will be happening at a time when the political landscape in the region has also opened. The Israeli government – installed in June 2021 – has recently passed its foremost major test. The passage of the first Israeli State Budget in over three years means that key Ministries have the resources to move forward with initiatives that have been planned but not implemented.

For Project Rozana the significance is multiple. Our work will be enhanced and our impact deepened with the active support of key Israeli government ministries.

In late October, our regional team, led by Project Rozana International Board member and Chair of Project Rozana Israel, Dr Doron Levinson, met with Essawi Frej, the Israeli Minister for Regional Development. In a wide-ranging discussion, it was agreed that the ministry and Project Rozana would explore opportunities for the ministry to jointly fund training programs for Palestinian health professionals in Israeli hospitals.

Pictured below, left to right…

Dr Raed Mansour (Regional Manager Project Rozana),
MK Ali Salalha,
Minister Esawi Frej,
Doron Levinson (Chair Project Rozana Israel)
Ronit Zimmer (Executive Director Project Rozana Israel)

In a subsequent meeting, Project Rozana representatives had their first formal and very productive meeting with Major General Ghasan Alyan, Head of the Israeli Coordinating Office for Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT).

The support and understanding of COGAT can be crucial in the arrangement of permits and the movement of people and materiel across the Gaza and West Bank borders. This is especially true in all matters related to patient treatment and the training of professional health professionals.

These positive ‘winds of change’ bode well for our mission of building bridges to better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health.

Pictured below, left to right…

Col. Mali Meiri (COGAT),
Kenneth Bob (Chair Project Rozana USA),
Doron Levinson (Chair Project Rozana Israel),
Dr Raed Mansour (Regional Manager Project Rozana),
Col. (Res) Faik Serhan (Project Rozana Israel Board)
Ronit Zimmer (Executive Director Project Rozana Israel)

GOING PUBLIC

Becoming a government-accredited NGO is a long-held dream for Project Rozana Australia. Now it looks closer than ever to becoming a reality.

Over a year ago, Project Rozana Australia was invited by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to apply for NGO Accreditation and entry into the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.

This is DFAT’s largest single support mechanism for Australian non-government organisations.

The program supports accredited Australian NGOs through annual grants to implement their own projects and strategic priorities consistent with the goals of the Australian aid program.

A prerequisite for DFAT accreditation is membership of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).

Member organisations work in three areas…

  • Sustainable and inclusive development.
  • Peace and human security.
  • Strong and effective civil society.

There have been months of preparation by Project Rozana, to strengthen its policies and procedures to ensure compliance with ACFID’s nine-point Code of Conduct.

We passed this first hurdle and will formally become members of ACFID in December.

Through untiring efforts of staff and board directors in Australia and Israel, we have applied for DFAT accreditation. We are quietly confident that we meet the stringent standards and that our work will ultimately gain government support.

Thank you to those who continue to make the efforts with us to ensure our compliance meets requirements in all the governance, management systems, approaches to partnerships and collaboration, risk management and more…

NEW APPOINTMENTS

Project Rozana Australia has a new Deputy Chair, Jamal Rifi AM and a new board member, Veronica Henricks. Plus we have two new staff members in Melbourne.

DR JAMAL RIFI

We are delighted to announce that highly-respected Sydney GP and community activist, Dr Jamal Rifi AM, has accepted the appointment of Deputy Chair of Project Rozana Australia.

Jamal has also been widely applauded for his outstanding community work after setting up a vaccination tent in the front yard of his medical clinic to support the people of south western Sydney during the COVID-19 crisis.

He has been a Director of Project Rozana since 2017 and his appointment affirms his commitment to the mission of building bridges to better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health.

Project Rozana Chair, Ron Finkel AM, said,

“Jamal Rifi brings to our organisation the very best spirit of humanity, and the will to make a positive difference to people’s lives, locally and internationally. His energy, insight and commitment have, over the past four years, added greatly to our success in the region.”

Mr Finkel said it was an honour to have Jamal assume this additional responsibility to Project Rozana, “an organization that he is passionately invested in.”

Dr Jamal recently penned an opinion piece in The Guardian.

VERONICA HENRICKS

Veronica Henricks

Project Rozana Australia is pleased to introduce Veronica Henricks as our newest board member. Veronica brings a unique background of leadership roles in public health, publishing, the pharma industry and the Australian Army.

The diversity of Veronica’s experience has resulted in an extensive skillset. She supports equitable access to healthcare for everyone. She is currently working in a strategic leadership position in a state public health service. And she has a broad understanding of health issues across varied cultures within rural and metropolitan areas.

We are confident that Veronica will bring strong governance and financial experience to our board and committees. Thank you, Veronica!

NEW STAFF FOR PROJECT ROZANA AUSTRALIA

DORIT JAFFE

Development, Fundraising & Engagement Manager

This is a critical skill-set that will assist us to meet its funding objectives for a range of important programs.

Dorit’s talent and enthusiasm have been evident in her warm and skilful engagement with donors and supporters. Her contribution to the team is highly valued and she would be delighted to meet you!

ROSE LIVINGSTON

Communications & Direct Marketing Manager

Her important role is to articulate our message clearly and passionately to a range of stakeholders. You can look forward to seeing positive and exciting changes in our online and offline communications, as Rose settles in and displays her outstanding skills and talents.

CONTACT PROJECT ROZANA CANADA

PROJECT ROZANA CANADA

Canadian charitable reg.
#: 73273 1294 RR 0001

16 Highbourne Road, Toronto,
Ontario M5P 2J2, Canada

CONTACT

PROJECT ROZANA CANADA

Canadian charitable reg.
#: 73273 1294 RR 0001

16 Highbourne Road, Toronto,
Ontario M5P 2J2, Canada