Haneen (9) is Stepping Out from the Shadow of Fear

The recent earthquakes in northern Syria turned nine-year-old Haneen's life completely upside down. Along with her family, she had to seek shelter elsewhere because their own house was on the verge of collapse. They were terrified. Eventually, the family found a cold and improvised tent. However, as time passed, Haneen's story transformed from one of fear and adversity into a tale of resilience and growth.

Haneen is living proof that young children can make significant strides.

Photo: War Child

Psychological First Aid Sessions

Haneen openly discusses her deep fear of earthquakes, often bursting into tears. She has learned that her fear is a natural and human response. She also now understands that it is beneficial and courageous to share her feelings.

In the immediate aftermath of the devastating earthquakes, Haneen and other children in northwest Syria engaged in special psychological first-aid sessions where they shared their personal experiences of fear among the group. Through these sessions, children learn to let go of their stress and traumatic experiences as quickly as possible. Only then can we offer them more long-term support and protect them from further psychological harm.

Regaining Her Sparkle

Throughout a series of group and individual sessions, Haneen learned practical ways to reduce her anxiety and slowly but surely regained her sparkle. Her smile returned and her perspective on life began to change. She was able to adapt to her new surroundings and found solace in sharing experiences with others. In this way, she managed to step out from the shadow of her fear.

Haneen's life is now characterised by tranquility. She cherishes the moments spent with her newfound friends. Resilience and optimism have replaced her fear of earthquakes. Haneen is living proof that young children can make significant strides. With a little support, they can rewrite their own stories and live the life they want.