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ً‫ آﻞ اﻟﻨﺴﺎء ﻣﻌًﺎ اﻟﻴﻮم وﻏﺪا‬- ‫ﺳﻮا‬ SAWA- All the Women Together, Today and Tomorrow

Annual Report 2007 1

Dear Friends, Once again we are pleased to present you with the Annual Report of our activities. 2007 SAWA unprecedented growth for SAWA, particularly in the area of the Children's Hotline, our newest project in Ramallah. You will read about the progress of this much-needed service in the report, and see how much influence this project has managed to wield even in it's pilot stages. SAWA remains dedicated to ending all forms of violence against women and children in Palestinian society, and we refuse to let the ongoing adversity of the Palestinian people influence the quality of our service provision. Best Wishes, Ohaila Shomar, Director Jerusalem/Ramallah 2008

SAWA gratefully acknowledges the generosity in 2007 of the following partners:

ACSUR Las Segovias Bread for the World The European Commission Foundation SURGIR Kvinna Til Kvinna Netherlands Representative Office Development Cooperation UNIFEM Welfare Association Finland Representative Office 2

SAWA - All the Women Together Today and Tomorrow (SAWA) was created in 1998 to raise awareness of all forms of sexual and physical violence within Palestinian society, and work towards limiting its prevalence among youth, women and men, and alleviate the misery of sexually and physically abused women and children, providing them support and empowering them to recover from their trauma and assist them in reintegrating into society. Today, SAWA provides the following services: •

A Sexual and Domestic Violence Hotline, currently functioning 80 hours a week, staffed by dedicated, highly-trained volunteers who offer crisis intervention and counseling sessions for callers. In 2007, the hotline received 1,340 calls.

A Children’s Helpline providing a listening ear for children and youth at-risk across Palestine, which received approximately 4306 calls in 2007. 52% of the Palestinian populations are under the age of 18.

An Accompaniment Service for traumatized callers to clinics and hospitals, and in some cases, to the Police and Law Courts, which helped 45 women, children and youth in 2007

An Education Department developing and implementing Outreach Workshops and Lectures in Schools, Community Centers, Universities, and corporate settings in the Jerusalem region and across Palestine which reached 3,285 souls in 2007, as the following: √ √ √ √ √ √

School students 1938 Women 469 Parents 80 Professionals 131 Youth 517 University students 40

Advocacy promoting anti-violence and campaigns via the media. In 2007, SAWA's messages reached thousands of Palestinians via 3 TV spots, 5 Radio Spots , Newspapers, Internet, and tailored pamphlets, brochures, posters and stickers.

SAWA is deservedly garnering a reputation for confidentiality and professionalism, with prompt and sensitive responses to the plethora of issues of sexual violence specifically faced by Palestinian women and youth today. SAWA’s Support Services and Educational Programs are sensitively structured according to the characteristics and needs of Palestinian society, with special attention paid to discretion and cultural norms. SAWA is also increasingly active in the growing community of Palestinian Social Change NGOs, in particular on Women’s Issues and campaigns against violence. SAWA chaired the Al-Muntada Forum, a 3

coalition organization of Palestinian NGO’s against Violence against Women which is currently at the forefront of lobbying, raising awareness and related activities, from 2005-2007. SAWA is also a member of the following organizations: • • • • • •

International Child Helpline organization and represents the Middle East-North Africa region on the advocacy taskforce The ISPCAN International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) The Palestinian forum against child abuse CPWG child protection working group. Al - Montada, Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Against Violence Against Women

With a staff of 15 and over 50 volunteers, SAWA remains dedicated to being at the forefront of the struggle against violence within Palestinian Society, and working steadfastly towards its eventual eradication.

Children's Helpline- SAWA's Flagship New Project This important new project of SAWA, first launched in 2006, grew legs in 2007 with the hiring of additional staff to work; Suitable premises for the organization's office were located in Ramallah, with furniture arriving accordingly over the following months. The team began to build a Referral Network of Support Services in and around Ramallah of relevant organizations, community resources, clinics and healthcare facilities, by arranging personal networking meetings with individuals, leaders and groups. As with the experience with SAWA's Women's Helpline, the purpose of this was to ensure that all relevant organizations in the area are aware of the new CHP, and would be willing to partner us in our new ventures- both referring children to us for help and as bodies that we can refer children at-risk to for further, more specific assistance. Dozens of organizations and government offices were approached over 2007 and a comprehensive folder, incorporating all the details of each partner organization the name of the contact and what services they offer, is ever-growing in the CHP office.


Child Helpline Logo

Outreach material was designed and prepared, advertising the Hotline. This was done after investigation into other successful Child Help lines around the world and the way they conduct their publicity. It has since begun to be distributed all over the target areas. Child Helpline Palestine was launched in February 2007 with full media coverage. This coincided with the completion of the first training course held in Ramallah for 28 Hotline Volunteers on an intensive program of 85 hours. Their completion of the proven course rendered them capable of answering calls made to the Child Hotline and staffing the hotline in weekly shifts. The Child Hotline Palestine as of December 2007 was operating 40 hours per week from the Ramallah offices, using the (toll-free) phone number 121 as previously donated by PalTel. Hundreds of calls were received in this time, and the numbers appear to be rising on a weekly basis. External factors- ranging from incursions, violence within the family or academic stress- have been topics of conversation. Additionally, many calls have been received from children saying that they were given a CHP pamphlet at school, or that their friend told them about us.




CHP's outreach program in Schools, (pictured) Youth Clubs, Summer Camps, community centers and the like continues to spread the message to as many children as possible. These efforts will continue to be maintained as SAWA moves forwards in its goal to reach every child in Palestine. A picture from the CHP's outreach program in the Schools

Testimonies of Child Helpline Volunteers: "I've spoken to mothers, to teachers, to children who are scared of all sorts of things. I'm surprised by myself as to how much I've managed to make them feel better about themselves and their situations." N, Hotline Volunteer "I never thought I would get so much out of volunteer work." B, Hotline Volunteer "A few weeks ago a girl called the hotline to say that thanks to the help we provided, she is happier- she is at a new school and getting good grades. I realized it was a girl I had counseled months ago. I was very happy to hear that her situation has improved." A, Hotline Volunteer.

SAWA Activity Highlights 2007 SAWA held it’s third conference “children of abused women “ on December 5th-6th 2007, attended by some 130 people, at the Best Eastern Hotel in Ramallah. The conference dealt with abuse within the family, parent-child relationships and secondary trauma. Mrs. Khuloud Daebes, Palestinian Minister for Women's Affairs, officially opened the conference. Mothers, teachers, psychologists and social workers overall comprised the attending audience, who attended panel discussions. Professional lectures, including those delivered by Prof. Mohammad Haj-Yihiya and Dr. Mustafa Kuskousi were very well received and many participants expressed (via feedback forms, informal conversations and 6

even calls to the hotline) that they felt they learned a great deal from the 2-Day Conference, which garnered considerable media coverage and public attention.

2007 also saw the culmination of the Strategic Planning Process; this important process has served to influence the organization a great deal. Following a series of meetings and workshops, a 3 day session between the Board and the SAWA Staff, wherein many strategic and ideological decisions were taken and discussed, as well as the re-setting of hierarchical positioning within the organization and mapping out future activity. This was particularly pertinent in terms of the development of the Child Hotline Palestine in Ramallah, and how the organic expansion of SAWA is affecting organizational output. The Evaluation Process was thoroughly documented by evaluator Dr. Saed Dorra, and his report was officially ratified by the Board, and the recommendations made have been subsequently adopted – specifically in terms of an organizational bylaws manual, hierarchy, standards and contractual procedures.

Focus on Outreach: Police Training: SAWA has for many years utilized proven training courses to raise awareness among specific professional groups as to the sensitive approaches needed when dealing with Gender-Based Violence, and how to accommodate the cultural taboos of Palestinian society while working towards bringing justice for those who have been abused and allowing the systems within infrastructures (healthcare, judicial, legal, District Attorney) to seem approachable. The Palestinian Police Force approached SAWA to request 2 trainings courses carried out in 2007 for 35 Police Officers. The training scheme, which comprised some 42 hours of intensive coursework in total, was carried out by experienced SAWA facilitators with great success. The training rendered these Police professionals equipped with skills to approach and directly deal with women and children who have been abused, as well as carry out informal outreach to all Palestinians, spreading awareness of the existence of the hotline.


Sabaya Centers: Together with UNIFEM, SAWA facilitate 15 workshops of women groups, placed in the Sabaya centers in the west bank. The activities were hold to screen the movie “ Maria’s Grotto”, created by it’s film maker Bothaina Kinaan Khoury, to arise the awareness on the topic of killing women on the name of honor in the Palestinian society. A picture from one SABAYA centers- Der Abu Daif – Jenin Aria.

Women Groups: SAWA began an unique women's empowerment training groups across Jerusalem and the West Bank. This was particularly relevant as the communities in such remote areas have never been exposed to such group work before. Facilitation was carried out sensitively and discreetly, presenting on topics such as parenting, family life, sex education, and gender based violence and motherhood, and from that starting point, discussions focusing more on women and women's issues would emerge. In the event that a woman came forward and mentioned that she'd been abused, the SAWA facilitators were quick to assist her, encouraging her to call the SAWA hotline or approach an organization in the area. The project, which concluded in 2008, was fully evaluated and will be repeated in the future.


The Political Context of SAWA as a Palestinian Women's Organization While so many international eyes have been focused upon the Palestinian people in 2007, sadly, political, social and economic conditions for Palestinians remain largely unchanged- if anything, the situation of Palestinian women overall has definitely deteriorated: both in the OPT, where the Segregation Wall separates women from their family members and denies freedom of movement, and this year even more so in Gaza, from where we continue to receive calls against the background of civil unrest and infighting. Across the OPT, Palestinian women remain subjugated by members of their own society, routinely discriminated against, murdered by family members in the name of “honor”, withheld from engaging in full social participation. Even today, Palestinian women are bound to remain on the sidelines, in the home, out of sight. And Palestinian men are enabled ownership of their wives and daughters, with even the more enlightened and educated of these men invariably entrenched within a society which practices and advocates sexist rituals and does not treat women equally, making it difficult for things to change and to effect such change. SAWA was set up to counter these inherent problems for Palestinian women and children, and as such, has not allowed such depressing facts on the ground to deter our work. Both hotlines continue to function, even under the most difficult of circumstances. Callers in areas beyond our physical reach who need further practical help are referred to local organizations, many from our partners in "Al-Muntada" forum of Anti-Violence Organizations. 2007 was a year for SAWA to focus on the problem of killing women on the name of honor in the Palestinian society through it's hosting for Al Montada for the years 2004 - 2008, highlighting the 17 women killed on 2007. For that SAWA papered and launched a report on the status of “Crimes of Women's Killing in Palestine” during a three-year period, from 2004 – 2006, the goal was to highlight the potential dangers of the criminal acts committed in the name of “honor” to the lives of Palestinian girls and women, to make the relevant data publicly available in order to raise public awareness of the issue, and to use the findings to lobby with Palestinian authorities and all other relevant parties to pass legislation of gender sensitive laws, which would consider the killing of girls and women under the banner of “family honor” a crime as well as to hold them accountable and responsible for protecting their lives, well-being and human rights.


Even with the mobility difficulties presented by the ongoing occupation, SAWA’s Education and Outreach volunteers have managed to reach some of the furthest-flung corners of the OPT, carrying out Prevention Education workshops and raising awareness. This is particularly pertinent when reaching out to young males, who we are finding increasingly open to discussing the themes presented in the workshops. More and more calls are received to the SAWA hotline from workshop participants. We are often asked if this is significant of more people being abused, and for that SAWA found it necessary to develop a Data Base for the calls it receives through the hotlines, and to have more accurate numbers and statistics of the violence against women and children. The Data Base was designed on the needs of SAWA in 2007 starting to collect the information and statistics for the analyzing and development of the programmes in SAWA. The truth remains that until the moment that people are educated about right and wrong (via workshops or otherwise) such abuse is liable to continue for years without the abused party even knowing that a crime, for which they can seek emotional support and legal justice, is being committed against them. For this reason it remains paramount for SAWA to continue its work raising awareness against Gender-Based violence, and providing support to the Palestinian People as a whole.


SAWA Annual Report 2007  

SAWA Annual Report 2007

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