Empowerment and Resilience in Children Everywhere (ERICE)
Guided by the belief that children everywhere are to be cherished and that respect for and protection of children is a shared human value, ERICE works to promote human rights, joint action, training and interventional projects focused on enhancing the well-being of children and families affected by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ERICE brings together child mental health professionals from Israel and Palestine to formulate and accomplish joint projects to enhance the well being of children and families that neighbor one another in this strife-torn region of the world.
Founded in 2004, ERICE is led by Mustafa Qossqosi, Ph.D., Esti Galili-Weisstub, M.D., and Al Hazem Ashour, M.D. ERICE is affiliated with a number of leading Israeli, Palestinian, Italian and American Universities including: Al-Quds University, Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University, University of Rome, and the MacMillan Center at Yale University.
At present, six pilot projects have been funded:
- Assessing Post-Traumatic Distress in Infant and Young Children: A Multi-Dimensional Approach
- Children in War: A Look at the Inner World of Palestinian and Israeli Children via their Dreams
- The Development of an Evidence Guided Approach to Child Mental Health in Arab Populations in Palestine and Israel
- An Evaluation of Special Education Programs for Palestinian and Israeli Children
- Pilot Surveillance of PTSD among Children in Israel and the Palestinian Authority
- Enhancing the Psychosocial Health and Empowering the School Age Children in Gaza
Each of these projects shows promise, but none are fully funded. With additional donations several of the ERICE projects can be expanded to have a dramatic impact on the lives of a large number of Israeli and Palestinian children.
The work of ERICE has been facilitated by two external advisors: James F. Leckman, M.D., Child Study Center Yale University; and Ernesto Caffo, M.D., the current President of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and President of Foundation Child. These advisors are responsible for the external review of all project proposals based on the following criteria: (1) the likelihood of a positive impact for Palestinian and Israeli children; (2) a joint effort involving both Israeli and Palestinian professionals; (3) feasibility; (4) evidence of capacity building; (5) a commitment to continuity of care; (6) evidence of loving kindness and good intentions; and (7) the likelihood that no harm will occur.