Last Friday, about 75 refugee children from Shatila, accompanied by CYC staff and several youth volunteers, went on a field-trip to a river in the town of Damour, about 20 kilometers south of Shatila.
The outing’s activities included picnicking, football matches, singing and dancing, and of course lots of splashing and playing in the water.
The field-trip served an important purpose, affording Syrian and Palestinian refugee children a needed release from the oppressions of camp-life—a fulfilling day of recreation in a natural setting far removed from the streets of Shatila.
Everyone enjoyed the chance to spend the hot day swimming in and relaxing by the water, children and staff alike!
On October 11, 14 Shatila youth traveled to the town of Saida to take part in a day-long workshop, which sought to impart the values and organizing practices of advocacy campaigns—coordinated efforts to improve the conditions of those whose voices are neglected. The training was part of the Child Rights Governance (CRG) project, a collaboration between CYC and Nabaa and funded by Save The Children International (SCI).
The workshop was led by Samir Sherari, with the help of Farah and Nisreen from CYC, and included a wide array of activities. At the beginning, the training focused on defining terms and laying out techniques for producing initiatives within vulnerable populations that successfully highlight their mistreatment and result in positive reforms. Such activism could span the realms of law, politics, education, family-life, and civil society.
The workshop featured active participation from the young attendees, who reflected on the main problems they face in their lives, and brainstormed creative ways of addressing them.
Breaking into groups, the youth developed comprehensive plans for tackling social injustices in their communities, such as the prevalence of environmental blights (e.g. undrinkable water, dangerous electrical wires, garbage in the streets), insufficient educational opportunities, and the spread of violence. The groups thought hard about how to utilize the means at their disposal, including available technology, the resources of local groups like the camp’s Popular Committee, and the cooperation of members of their community.
The workshop brought out the best of these Shatila youth, as they harnessed their creative energies for the task of advancing justice in their communities. Now equipped with many of the tools crucial to achieving this goal, we can expect great things from this next generation of leaders. When the workshop ended, everyone expressed their wish for a second one.