Empowerment and Resilience in Children Everywhere (ERICE)
Its Mission Statement
The initial plans to establish ERICE took place following a meeting of parents of children (both Arab-Israeli and Jewish Israeli) enrolled in a Kindergarten at the YMCA in Jerusalem 2004 organized by Shafiq Masalha, PhD.
The first formal meeting of the group was sponsored by Fondazione Child and was held in Berlin at the Italian Embassy in 2004. The second formal meeting took place in Erice (Sicily, Italy) in 2005. During that meeting the group adopted the name E.R.I.C.E., not only in honor of the name of the place but also an acronym of their common goal (Empowerment and Resilience in Children Everywhere).
Subsequent meetings have taken place in Rome, Florence and in the region. The most recent ERICE meeting took place in August 2014 at the Innocenti Centre in Florence, Italy. Forty professionals took part in this meeting sponsored by Fondazione Child, the Fetzer Institute and Yale University.
The Current Leadership of ERICE
- President: Shafiq Masalha, PhD
- Board of Directors: Hazem AShour, MD; Morshid Farhat, MD, MPH, JD, MBA; Alan Apter, MD; Tawfiq Salman, MD; and Itamar Lurie, PhD
- Co-ordinator: Maya Fennig
Members of the ERICE group include: Arab-Israeli academics, physicians and psychologists; Jewish Israeli academics, physicians and psychologists; and Palestinian academics, physicians and psychologists.
Formation of a Non-Governmental Organization
Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Ernesto Caffo and the leadership of Fondazione Child, efforts are underway to establish ERICE as a new NGO based in Italy. This evolutionary step is supported by ERICE's partner organizations and institutions: Fondazione Child, International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), UNICEF, the Fetzer Institute and Yale University.
At present, a number of projects are being developed including Joint Palestinian-Israeli Training Programs for mental health professionals to enhance the resilience, safety and well-being of children and their families.