INEE Member Spotlight: Abla Assaf

Location: Jerusalem 

Title: Education Technical Officer - Certified Master Trainer in BLP - NRC PSS-SEL Flagship Programme

Introduce yourself to other members. Tell us who you are and summarize the work you do or interest you have in EiE.

I have been working in the field of education for 24 years in both the formal and private sectors before moving to nongovernmental organizations working in humanitarian contexts. Currently, I am an education technical officer in the Education Programme in the Norwegian Refugee Council, Palestine Office.

I’m a Certified Master Trainer in Better Learning Programme (BLP)-  Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)'s PSS-SEL Flagship Programme, and achieved a course certification in the field of Education in Emergencies from the University of Tromso/ Norway.

My focus is supporting children’s right to access safe, quality and inclusive education in vulnerable schools located in the Hard to Reach areas that are affected by the occupation and emergency in Palestine. Schools in these areas are put under attack, hindering the learning, psychosocial wellbeing, and academic achievement of the students. I believe that teachers are the most crucial element in the Education in Emergency interventions and consequently, teachers’ development, care and support is essential to ensure they can care and support their students. 

I strongly believe that return to education after a crisis helps children regain a sense of normalcy, offers a safe place, and is an opportunity to begin recovering  in a structured environment. I advocate for child protection and child rights and youth as builders and leaders of the future and for gender equality and sensitivity.

My educational and professional background, experience in leading huge tasks in conjunction with my energy and enthusiasm, creativity and flexibility always help me achieve my goals! I’m a member of the INEE community and I invest INEE resources in my practices. I'm a strong education professional with a Master of Arts (M.A.).

What has been a highlight of your work as a professional in EiE? Feel free to share a personal story.

My focus is supporting the children in the most conflict affected areas in Palestine to access safe, protective and inclusive learning opportunities that can promote their wellbeing and improve their mental health. It includes providing MoE staff, teachers, counsellors and parents with the relevant and sufficient skills to support children’s wellbeing and self-care. It also includes follow up, coaching and individual and group support for the teaching and non-teaching staff during the implementation of PSS-SEL- EiE interventions in their schools.

Moreover, I contribute to the  development of supporting materials and manuals in collaboration with NRC MERO. A key part of my work is monitoring and evaluation which allows for documenting results, processes and experiences that inform programmes to take strategic decisions and to collect lessons learnt to show progress against plan.

When and why did you join INEE, and what is the value of INEE membership to you? 

I joined INEE in 2018 but used to engage actively with its resources long before. INEE membership keeps me updated and aware of all developments related to EiE which are my core interest. It is also a valuable source for readings, activities, papers, manuals, and studies around the world.

How do you currently engage with the INEE network? (i.e. a member of an INEE network space or language community; receive news and attend INEE web events from time to time; use INEE EiE resources; etc) 

I receive updates and news via different communication channels, for example, email, and LinkedIn. I also have participated in capacity building opportunities on INEE tools such as the TiCC Peer Coaching for teachers. I have recently submitted a case study on teacher support which is on its way to be published. I attend workshops, webinars and meetings organized by INEE.

How would you like INEE members to connect and engage with you? What skills, experience and/or technical support would you be willing to share or provide to other members and/or INEE Secretariat?

I can be reached through my email and I'm available to share my experience in EiE in Palestine and the MERO. I have demonstrated skills in teachers' support, child protection and wellbeing, EiE interventions planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. I also share INEE invitations for events or webinars with my colleagues and encourage them to engage.

Anything else you want to share with members? 

I'm always keen and enthusiastic for learning and for sharing experiences and for providing support.

* Published on November 2021.

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