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When the pandemic broke out in Israel, the How You’ve Grown portal was updated with articles and practical tools for optimal conduct with children and adolescents in light of COVID-19 and the shutdown of the school system. To make the information accessible to all of Israel’s diverse population, the content was written in six different languages: Amharic, English, Hebrew, Arabic, French and Russian.
Content included home activities to keep children busy and engaged, tips for dealing with children and/or parents in quarantine, detecting and reporting domestic violence, dealing with children’s challenging behavior during COVID, kids’ and teen’s anxiety, screen time during COVID, parents’ anxiety and distress, coping with stress, dealing with anger, and more.
Two series of short animated videos were produced in Hebrew and in Arabic and received outstanding feedback from parents and professionals.
The pandemic left its mark on many families. Parents and children found themselves living in a sense of constant uncertainty, resulting in pressure and stress. In light of the situation pediatricians and family doctors in the community have had to adapt to the new reality and work differently while facing new difficulties and struggles. Therefore, Goshen started a project called ‘Even when we’re far – we stay close’ – a series of free online meetings led by various professionals in the fields of child medicine and welfare in Israel. The goal – to share and teach knowledge and tools for dealing with the new challenges in the community.
Following a request by the Jerusalem Municipality, and in collaboration with the Jerusalem Foundation and the Yad HaNadiv Foundation, a shared program was developed to distribute information in Arabic culturally tailored for parents from East Jerusalem. As part of this program, a number of short videos were produced in Arabic with helpful tips for encouraging and promoting child development through playtime and other activities. Also, a program for online meetings among professionals was formed.
Together with the ‘Peimot; program, belonging to the ‘Pothim Atid’ organization, a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency, playtime and information kits were produced for parents of children under 3, including a children’s story that encourages a discussion about feelings, board games, an erasable table for building a balanced daily diet, an explanation pamphlet and more. The kits were distributed in six towns and cities to 500 families who are participating in the ‘Peimot’ program, and were provided with instruction and support from the professionals working with the families in the program.