Lulu wants to play without fear

Lulu (9) * was born in Syria. Violence erupted in Syria when she was just three years old. Lulu and her family decided to flee the ongoing violence - and were forced to travel from one refugee camp to another. After a long and tough journey, Lulu and her family finally arrived in Lebanon. This is her story.

Life in Lebanon is hard. Lulu lives with her family in the Shatila refugee camp, where some 20,000 people are forced to live inside one square kilometre. There is no safe environment where children can grow up and play outside.

The streets where Lulu normally plays are flooded due to a leaked water supply. The garbage is often left on these streets for weeks. Gangs and rival groups dominate the corners of the neighbourhood. Loose electricity wires are everywhere. These are the reasons why Lulu is never allowed to play outside on her own.

Lulu's mother remembers the flight from Syria like it was yesterday. Tears roll down her cheeks when she describes the bombing, her anxiety and her uncertainty about her daughter’s future. Lulu has sleeping problems and is often kept awake by memories of the violence she’s experienced. Lulu's father has been looking for a safe place for their family to live for years now.

New friends in Lebanon

When Lulu was six years old she came into contact with War Child. She now participates in the sports, games and dance activities in one of War Child’s Safe Spaces. In the Safe Space, she can finally be herself again.

"Here are my friends,” Lulu says. “Here I can play, draw and make friends again. I’m very happy here."

Lulu dreams of becoming a famous singer - she’s even planning to audition for TV singing contest The Voice of Lebanon.