16 Shatila teens, aged 16 to 19 , bonded over the course of two hours of enrichment activities this morning in CYC’s library.
The events brought into view the common issues in their lives and underscored the need for everyone to support each other.
The program was aimed at increasing self-confidence, mutual respect, and camaraderie in a group of youth poised to be among the leaders of their peers.
All of the activities stressed the importance of working together and included choreographing dances, playing trust-building and problem-solving games, and engaging in discussions about their lives over a meal.
The program offered a chance for youth to bond while simultaneously encouraging them to use their full potential as a collective to advocate for their rights and make sure their voices are heard.
Palestinian camps in Lebanon are in the midst of an ongoing humanitarian crisis. With recent cuts in aid from UNRWA coinciding with a massive influx of Syrian refugees into the camps, social problems like hunger are becoming more pervasive.
On Wednesday, CYC in cooperation with the Al-Amal Institute for the Disabled and the “Sweater and Wheat” Relief Program, procured and distributed packages of food and home-necessities to about 200 Syrian and Palestinian families in Shatila. Both staff members and youth volunteers helped out in the process. The items included staples such as burghol, chickpeas, beans, homos, wheat, lentils, as well as sweaters and soap.
Such efforts, which help meet the demands of suffering families, are important but cannot exist in isolation. Other organizations are, indeed, pitching in, like CYC, but more must be done across the board in order to address this deeply troubling situation.
Around 150 children and youth from the Shatila Camp and around 35 from the Nahr el-Bared Camp, sporting matching t-shirts provided with generous support from UNICEF and the Permanent Peace Movement, filed onto buses chartered by CYC early on a beautiful Sunday morning.
Two large busloads of Palestinian and Syrian refugee children descended on the Biel district of Beirut for a pre-Marathon celebration on Friday.
The celebration began with a stimulating art activity, facilitated by the Beirut-based “I Leaf Art” organization.
The children painted and drew with skill, producing an array of creative pictures.
Following this activity, one group of younger children and another group in their teens showed off their dance moves, in performances of traditional dabke dances.
The groups had been rehearsing for this day for weeks and their practice certainly paid off, as their performances were stunning.
The energy and charisma of these dancers was truly inspiring. It was a spectacular night all around.