ERICE NGO – Empowerment and Resilience for Children Everywhere


Created by Foundation Child and ICACAPAP (International Association for  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions), the group firstly met in  Berlin (Italian Embassy) in 2004. The Congress goal was to define the first joint  projects among Israeli and Palestinian professionals. To this end, the Program  foresaw moments of reflection on theoretical and intervention models and  experience and background sharing moments: everything with the purpose of  supporting an exchange and confrontation atmosphere not only on professional  level. 

The second meeting took place at Erice (Sicily, Italy) in 2005 and the group  took its name after the place but more importantly as acronyms of its core  objective (Empowerment and Resilience in Children Everywhere), To this end, ERICE aims at promoting the rights of children and bring them back to a normal  

life through the necessary cares, everywhere they live and apart from their  citizenship. 

In 2006 the group had a new meeting in Rome to discuss the first results came  out from researches. The picture of the situation was really worrying: researches  underlined that children exposed to conflict – Israeli, Palestinian or Arabic-Israeli – presented a severe compromising of their psychological well- being. 

In 2007 the group met again in Florence (Italy) during the XIII European Society  for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP) congress. On that occasion the results of the research done by ERICE group presented to the international  public of child psychiatrists through a big symposium. 

The group made part of the launch of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium on  August 2013 at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy. After  the launch of the Early Childhood Consortium, ERICE breakout session was  planned as well on September 2013. Central to both the expanded ERICE  meeting and the Early Peace Consortium held is the hypothesis that early parent 

child training programs that embrace love and forgiveness can lead to greater  peace home, in the local community, in national societies and in the world. 

ERICE held its a scientific conference on the 3rd of June 2015, in Tel Aviv,  Israel. 

The conference consisted of three main parts. The first part of the conference  addressed the theoretical and ideological aspects, and concentrated on fostering  cooperation between Jewish, Arab and Palestinian mental health professionals.  The second part focused on the need to promote epidemiological studies and the  third section of the conference was dedicated to Early Childhood Based research  and interventions.


At the moment, ERICE group is working on an emergency project aimed at an intervention to help children and families affected by the last conflict in Gaza. Since its foundation, ERICE has organized several International and Regional Meetings that have promoted a profitable exchange and dialogue, unique in its type. This has allowed participants to share reflections and good practices through presentations and workshops. At present, six pilot projects have been funded:

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., current 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.


Advance education and training

Provide training and educational programs in order to increase capacities of professionals and families to enable them to treat and/or support their children in the most effective way

Implement support programs

enhancing sustainable child development and promoting mental health programs in collaboration with experts from academics, professionals and government officials

Provide Training

both in Italy and abroad for social, socio-cultural and voluntary workers directly connected with and instrumental to its institutional goals through the organisation of courses, congresses, seminars, conferences and producing informative, educational materials

Empowerment and Resilience for Children Everywhere (ERICE), NGO: ERICE  (Empowerment and Resilience in Child Everywhere) is devoted to the promotion of children’s rights and the protection of the right to health. ERICE group  represents a think tank for the research and the intervention aimed at protecting  children and adolescents affected by the devastating effects of war, out from  the “logic of competition”. The attention is all focused-on children and  adolescents who are living in conflicts areas, promoting a preventive and  supportive action that protects their mental health, as fundamental element to  build a future of peace. The Association intends to establish intervention  

Projects for the improvement of the mental-physical The Project aims at  developing new systems of child mental health care and enhances existing  approaches for training professionals such as general practitioners, nurses,  teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists. The Association operates primarily in  the socio-medical, psychological, social and pedagogical fields, as well as any  other form of assistance and relief to children who are living in disadvantaged  and/or emergency conditions. The association carries out activities that are  useful in the pursuit of its mission and in particular:

ERICE has been supported by partner organisations and institutions such as  Fondazione Child, Yale University and UNICEF.

The Association operates primarily in the socio-medical, psychological, social and pedagogical fields, as well as any other form of assistance and relief to children  who are living in disadvantaged and/or emergency conditions. From September 2015, ERICE was formally recognised as Onlus (not for-profit organisation).

Past Activities

ERICE held its scientific conference on the 3rd of June 2015, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

For the past ten years, ERICE has facilitated succesful meetings between leading Israeli and Palestinian mental health pratictionners and academics in Italy in cooperation with ERICE’s partner organizations and institutions: Foundation Child, Yale University, International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Unicef, the Fetzer Institute and local NGOs. We berlieve it is imperative to continue this cross-border professional exchange. By encouraging professionals not only to participate in our cross-border seminars and trainings, but also to spread infomation and knowledge to outside constituencies or decision-makers, we hope to create a cadre of leaders that will help transform the attitudes and behaviour of the broader communities, thereby contributing to the mitigation of the conflict and increasing the probability of a sustainable peace. 

The conference consisted of three main parts. The first part of the conference addressed the theoretical and ideological aspects, and concentrated on fostering cooperation between Jewish, Arab and Plestinian mental helath professionals. The second part focused on the need to promote epidemiological studies and the third section of the conference was dediacated to Early Childhood Based research and interventions. This section included lectures by Prof. Ernesto Caffo, “Child trauma and epigenetics: how research and training may have an impact on political decisions and change children’s lives”, and by Prof. James Leckman who introduced the transformative power of Early Childhood Development in peace building and presented the important work of ACEV in Turkey and the Early Childhood Peace Consortium in partnership with Unicef.