Leaving a lasting legacy for refugee children
Giving children the chance to express themselves and grow their confidence
Photo: War Child in Lebanon
A lasting legacy
Lebanon is home to the Shatila refugee camp - a settlement that houses thousands of Palestinian and Syrian refugees. Facilitators from the Ahlam Laje’a Center are currently working inside the camp to support Palestinian refugee families - using methods left from one of War Child’s flagship projects.
The ‘Time to Be a Child’ project - funded by the IKEA Foundation - saw War Child work with local organisations to provide vulnerable children with Safe Spaces where they could play, learn and develop in a peaceful environment. The project came to a close last year - but its methods are still being used to support child refugees.
A space to play
Hilal is a facilitator who helps to run sessions with children inside the settlement every Friday. “The kids need somewhere to express themselves”, he explains. “Spaces where they are supervised but still feel a sense of freedom.”
And through the course of structured recreational activities - introduced by War Child and now led by local volunteers - children are able to do exactly that. Children at the centre learn to cooperate and develop teamwork skills by assembling building blocks. And their confidence grows when they present their finished works.
Children benefit from the methodology - they learn to cooperate and develop teamwork skills.
Photo: War Child
Overcoming the obstacles
The children benefit from this proven methodology - but other challenges remain. ‘’Our biggest issue is funding”, Hilal explains. “We are doing what we can with the resources we have.’’
Resources have to be put in place - but how else can we facilitate more success stories like this? Using a community-based approach is perhaps the most important step towards building the capacities of local organisations.
By ensuring that those we work with gain the tools they need to act independently - and by helping facilitators and members of the community feel empowered - the potential for lasting impact is never out of reach.