Little Star Psychologists to Visit the UK in 2009

Most of the twelve Little Star psychologists will visit the UK in 2009. Working every day with traumatized people causes a strain for those conducting this work, and Peacebuilding UK therefore arranges a break or retreat for the team of psychologists and counsellors each year for rest and recuperation.

Previous retreats have been conducted in the UK, Norway, Azerbaijan and the Crimea. The visit will also include a training component to increase and deepen the range of skills of the Little Star team. A small team of UK-based specialists has agreed to work with the Little Star psychologists during their visit to support them in the writing of a teachers’ manual to complement the book ‘Power of Goodness: Stories of Nonviolence and Reconciliation’, which Little Star has been using in its work for over a year (please see ‘Psychosocial’ page).

A substantial part of the financial support for the Little Star project comes from the UK via Peacebuilding UK. The Little Star visit to the UK will therefore also provide the valuable opportunity for such contributors to meet with the Little Star team.

Finally, the visit will enable the Little Star team to meet with Peacebuilding UK friends and trustees. The team’s visa application attempt was unsuccessful in March, but we hope that discussions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office will lead to successful applications shortly.

Supporting Psychosocial work in Gaza

Peacebuilding UK has been invited by an NGO in Gaza to support their work through staff training in the fields of child psychological trauma counselling and rehabilitation. This co-operation will focus on psychosocial counselling of children in the field and the training of new staff/ mental health professionals in Gaza. An initial one-week seminar is planned in Gaza in August 2009. Two representatives from Peacebuilding UK and two Little Star psychologists will visit Gaza in August to conduct the training seminars. It is hoped that this will be the first of a series of such trainings and cooperation between Peacebuilding UK/ Little Star and the partner in Gaza.