Asmae recruits 01 Mental Health &amp; Psychosocial Support Specialist (MHPSS) – Fixed-term local contract
Asmae is a French international solidarity NGO specialized in child development. Independent, non-religious and non-political, it is open to everyone. Created in 1980 by Sister Emmanuelle following her experience with scavengers in Egypt’s slums, Asmae keeps on respecting its founder’s values and methods: listening and proximity, pragmatism, respect of the differences, professionalism and reciprocity.
Asmae’s action aims to support vulnerable children and their families through providing tailor-made and long lasting support to local stakeholders working on child education and protection.
Its vision, “A fair world which guarantees that children can live and grow with dignity within their environment, to become free women and men who contribute to society”, is broken down into four missions:
- Stimulate child development through a global approach. To do this, Asmae also works on family support by taking their environment into account;
- Build the capacity of local stakeholders involved in child development, boost cooperation amongst them and maximize their social impact;
- Stand up for children by raising awareness and advocating;
- Experiment, disseminate and share practices.
Nowadays Asmae supports education and protection projects through local organizations in Burkina-Faso, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Madagascar, and Philippines. Furthermore, in France, Asmae also directly manages a mother and childcare center.
Asmae Background in Egypt:
Asmae is registered under the Ministry of Solidarity since May 2015. Asmae promotes child education and care within two areas of intervention: the prevention of school drop-out and underperformance and the support to children with disabilities. Asmae is currently supporting Egyptian associations working in informal areas of Greater Cairo to support children in need and most vulnerable families. Asmae Egypt’ team is based in Cairo and is managed by a local Country Representative for Asmae Association in Egypt and local administrative and financial staff.
Within the area of intervention “Support to children with disabilities”, Asmae supports Basmat Amal Association that was created in year 2000, by six families of poly-handicapped children. Their objective was to promote access to quality service centers for children with special needs. Asmae has been supporting Basmat Amal since 2009. Asmae provides technical and financial support to three rehabilitation centers for children with special needs. The technical support is provided through Asmae’s Technical Advisor (TA).
Basmat Amal’s work with children with disabilities can be summarized as follows:
- Support to children with disabilities in day centers, where they provide children with individual and collective sessions of psychomotricity, speech therapy and academic learning.
- Children with special needs who can be enrolled in schools spend three days at the center and two days in inclusive schools.
- Raising awareness activities and support to families
- Cooperation with Egyptian Authorities (Ministries of Education, Solidarity and Health) in order to promote effective access to rights for children with special needs (social insurance, education, etc.)
2. PROJECT BACKGROUND
The current coronavirus disease context has disrupted life in every corner and is disproportionally affecting children with pre-existing vulnerabilities. Based on Ministerial Decision No. 24 issued by her Excellency the Minister of Social Solidarity in March 16th 2020, all activities related to nurseries and social welfare sector were suspended in all governorates of Egypt for COVID-19 crisis. Thus, Basmet Amal’s centres closed their centers from March to June 2020, with a major impact on their beneficiaries (more than 100 children with disabilities ranging from 5 to 16 years old and their families). During the closure of its centres, the handling of young children with special needs has been extremely challenging for families and caregivers. This situation has led to an increase in parental stress and an exacerbation of children’s behavioral problems. When stress levels go up for adults and children, there is a greater risk of violence, especially based on gender (Gender Based Violence –GBV). Parents and caregivers of children and youth with disabilities are facing unique challenges due to COVID-19 current situation that resulted on a greater dependence and responsibilities on parents.at home
In this situation, supporting the emotional well-being of children with disabilities and their families is absolutely necessary, when the psychosocial impact of the pandemic and isolation period tends to be underestimated. As suggested by the UNICEF “Programmatic actions will need to address these specific challenges during the pandemic and post-pandemic period ”.The greater burden faced by children living with disabilities means that additional efforts will be required to ensure their needs are being met when transitioning to the different pandemic phases. Thus, the project aims at providing psychological support for children and their families affected by COVID-19 crisis as a method of helping them to cope better with current situation and its future consequences.
3. PROJECT OBJECTIVE
Building supportive and resilient environment that promote children with disabilities and parents health and well-being through Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services.
The MHPSS project objectives are:
- Provide psychological first aid to parents and caregivers ; prevent and respond to GBV;
- Provide psychosocial support to Basmet Amal staff to ease their operation with beneficiaries during stressful work conditions in workplace or remotely.
- Enhance the skills of Basmet Amal Staff/educators to plan and implement activities that promote the well-being and resilience of children with disabilities and develop their capacities to deal with emotional and social challenges during isolation periods;
4. POSITION SUMMARY
Asmae’s way of intervention involves the systematic intervention of Technical Advisors (like PSS specialist) responsible for supporting and strengthening the skills of the professionals from local organizations (social workers, educators, etc.) in promoting and strengthening psychosocial well-being. In this project, the PSS Officer will support Basmat Amal educators in implementing psychosocial activities with children with learning difficulties and their parents. The position will play a key role in building the team capacity and supervise closely the quality of PSS services provided to the children at Basmat Amal educational centers. The PSS Officer will report directly to Asmae Country Representative and coordinate work with both Project Officer and Technical Advisor on Disability and Inclusion. S/He will be responsible initially to support the baseline assessment and capacity building module of the PSS program, followed by the overall planning, implementation and management of future activities. S/He will develop a PSS plan and implement activities in an appropriate, relevant, effective, timely, coordinated and complementary manner and actively seek synergies with other projects as well.
5. ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES
- Support BA educators in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing through provision of key messages on constructive coping mechanisms.
- Support Basmet Amal educators in planning and conducting individual and group counselling session/ psychosocial first aid (PFA) remotely and in person where possible.
- Support the Basmet Amal educators in planning, developing and facilitating and providing children, youth and adults with a focus on women and girls with culturally and age appropriate, safe and stimulating non-structured as well structured PSS activities such as recreational sports and games, life skills and positive coping mechanisms activities.
- Support the BA educators in raising awareness regarding the availability of mental health, psychosocial support and protection services.
- Support family and community supports for recovery, strengthening resilience and maintenance of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of children and families.
- Support the field-based in team in identifying and referring cases for more specialized case management services.
- Develop and support BA team in maintaining effective working relationships with all relevant stakeholders including other NGOs, civil society groups, authorities, etc.
- Regularly check with BA team to ensure that materials and facilities are fully functioning and ready to provide activities (logistically, capacity)
- Compiling weekly and monthly reports to provide information on activities conducted, topics discussed, challenges faced
6. EXPECTED RESULTS AFTER THE PSS SPECIALIST’S INTERVENTION
Result (1) The capacities of 50 parents/families to support children with specific needs in emergency settings is strengthened
- 50 parents have received a psychological support (20 individual / collective support session / peer support)
- 8 raising awareness sessions to avoid violence, including gender based violence, have been conducted.
- At least 60% of the supported families state that there are now capable to cope with stress due to isolation conditions. Domestic violence, including gender based violence, decreased.
- At least 2 tools to help parents support their children’s learning are introduced by the PSS specialist. These tool are used by the families during and after the isolation period due to the pandemic.
Result (2) The well-being of 60 children with disabilities is improved
- 12 psycho-social support sessions and group activities are implemented for children with disabilities (at least 1 activity / week)
- 60 children with disabilities (with a focus on girls) have access to protection and psycho-social services and receive re-creational activities that promote their well-being and engagement
Result (3) The capacities of Basmat Amal’ staff to adapt its work to the pandemic (and its consequences) is strengthened
- 25 staff members have received a psychosocial support from a PSS specialist.
- At least 60% of staff members improve their capabilities in dealing with stressful situations, and are able to express the emotional impact about the situation they are facing.
7. QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast paced environment. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or competency required.
- Degree psychology or related field with a minimum of 5 years of post-licensure experience particularly in Counselling Psychology and Social work (with additional psychological therapy qualification)
- Knowledge of global MHPSS guidelines and best practices and MHPSS approaches/tools in low resource and humanitarian contexts
- Strong experience and skills in creating resources, facilitating practical workshops, providing capacity development on PSS to others through a variety of methods – technical support and guidance, training, practice mentoring, “learning by doing” approaches; additional experience on this in GBV stronger preferred
- Strong experience in capacity building and providing trainings
- Understanding of protection issues including child protection and gender-based violence
- Ability to respect differences of culture, opinion and lived experiences
- Organized and able to independently manage multiple tasks under strict deadlines
- Highly organized and self-motivated, able to work efficiently independently, as well as working collaborative with others
- Excellent interpersonal skills, positive and professional attitude; Strengths in listening, empathy, flexibility, and creativity and high communications skills
Language Skills & IT:
- Fluent Arabic language communication skills required (both oral and written)
- Excellent oral and written English skills – essential
- Proficiency in Excel, SPSS, or another statistical analysis software preferred
8. Child Protection Policy:
ASMAE works in child protection and has developed an internal Child Protection Policy. As the position requires regular contact with children, our selection procedure will include background checks on candidates to ensure children’s safety. New staff will be required to sign Asmae’s Child Protection Policy.
9. PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Duration of the mission: 3 months
Starting date: ASAP
Contract: Egyptian fixed-term Contract
Conditions: The position is based in Cairo. The office languages, English and Arabic.
In case you meet the above requirements and that you are interested in the position, please send your CV, a cover letter in English, in addition to three professional references to email@example.com before October 22, 2020.