“Our News” is the CYC-Shatila’s newsletter, created by the children and youth, for the community, and friends of the CYC. “Our News” provides an opportunity for Shatila’s young people to speak out about issues relevant to them.
The magazine tackles a wide range of subjects; the themes are always chosen by the youths. Children and teenage authors also submit poetry. “Our News” includes an translated English content section. “Our News” continues to raise awareness among the children and youth, as well as educate outside people on the principals and practices of the CYC.
- Art and Handcraft Classes: The CYC offers a handcraft training programme to early school leavers, as well as general exercises in handcrafts and art to the CYC’s children and youth. Such activities are not normally catered for in UNRWA schools. Crucially the handcraft training programme provides some income, and a degree of financial independence, for early school leavers.
- Cultural Exchanges: The CYC regularly receives visitors, and is involved in the organisation of various youth cultural exchanges. Many of the CYC’s children and youth have benefited from cultural exchanges abroad.
- Dance and Performance: The CYC’s dance group, The Nabke Team, trains weekly, and performs regularly inside and outside the camp. The Nabke Team performs traditional dances, as well as modern choreographies.
- Football: The centre’s talented football squad trains weekly, and participates in many minor competitions.
- Freedom Run:This annual event is an organised fun-run around Shatila camp, and is both an eagerly anticipated physical exercise and social exercise. People of all ages participate.In 2004, the fifth Freedom Race became the Freedom March. On the eve of the race the Israeli forces assassinated a Palestinian leader, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, in the Gaza Strip. The Freedom Race became a demonstration against Israeli aggression.
- Help with Homework: Local and foreign volunteers assist the children with their homework, and explain problems that may have been encountered with schoolwork. The CYC has a spacious and quiet library, conducive to learning, as well as classroom areas. Children are encouraged to use the library’s resources, and to take a committed attitude toward their studies. Foreign volunteers frequently provide help with English learning; the children and youth benefit from guidance from native speakers, as the school curriculum is in English.
- Recreational and Education Trips: The CYC endeavours to provide recreational and educational excursions outside of the camp, to the theatre, music concerts, cultural exhibitions, and similar. These trips are doubly important, as the children and youth of Shatila rarely have the opportunity to leave the camp.
- Summer Camps: Summer camps are held on an annual basis, at different locations within Lebanon. Summer camps are an opportunity for sports, arts, games, and extracurricular learning, all in a healthy outdoor environment. The importance and benefits of recreation, and holidays away, cannot be overestimated; this is especially true of the chance for disadvantaged children and youth to experience different surroundings.
- Workshops: The CYC attends and hosts multiple workshops each year. Typically productive environments, workshops facilitate new ideas and knowledge. The practical nature of workshops enables the CYC’s older youths, to pass on the skills and knowledge they acquire at workshops, to the CYC’s younger members. Other workshops are designed specifically for the children.
Space for the children and youth of Shatila and Nahr el-Bared camp