Psychological support brings sense of security to children following missile attack in Israel

The Iranian missile attacks on Israel that took place on 13th April caused fear and anxiety among the children and young people in our programmes in Israel. Among the casualties, a 7-year-old girl was injured. 

In the SOS Children’s Village situated in Arad, Israel, alarms blared late at night, prompting caregivers and staff to swiftly evacuate the children from their beds to shelters, where they sought refuge until morning. 

Bat El, a counsellor at SOS Children’s Villages in Israel, found herself on call along with all staff members when the attacks unfolded. Recounting the harrowing experience, she said, “Suddenly, we witnessed a sky ablaze with lights, followed by a deafening boom. It was the missile intercepts. We rushed indoors, waking up all the children and hurrying together to the shelter.” 

“The children were trembling with fear. We reassured them, explaining that we were right there beside them and that everything would be alright. One child couldn’t contain his tears. He was fretting over his mother, worried she wouldn’t make it to the shelter in time. We dialled her number, and hearing her voice, he visibly relaxed. We stayed by their bedsides all night, ensuring they felt safe. Eventually, exhaustion overtook them, and they drifted off to sleep,”
Bat El SOS Children's Villages Counsellor, Israel

Outside of Arad, a 7-year-old girl from the Bedouin community suffered serious injuries from shrapnel. She is now fighting for her life in the paediatric intensive care unit at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva. 

SOS Children’s Villages Israel operates 11 daycare centres, offering educational and empowerment activities for children in the Bedouin community. 

Further north in Israel, children in another SOS Children’s Village were startled awake by the sounds of missile interceptions. They too were gripped by fear butfound solace in the comforting presence of the staff throughout the night. 

Nelly Geva, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Israel, emphasised their mission saying, “Through our unwavering dedication, we strive to create a haven for all the children and youths under our care, shielding their physical and emotional well-being and mitigating the risk of post-traumatic symptoms. We dream of a time when all children can thrive in safety and joy.” 

The psychological support extended by SOS Children’s Villages Israel brought a much-needed sense of security to the children and youth after a harrowing night. Despite the cancellation of Passover activities across all their programmes, the teams have rallied to devise alternative plans for the extended holiday period. 



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