Displaced Syrian Children
LAY programs with Syrian Refugees Children
With the current situation in Syria, Lebanon is affected a lot, especially with the big number of refugees entering to the country legally and illegally. Having more than 2,000,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon creates the big need to work and help them with their bad conditions of living, and with our specialty we are able to help with education and child protection programs. With their several needs while they are living or struggling to live in Lebanon several NGOs and international organizations are helping them each with their specialty.
Our main concern was the children, as they are the affected badly, whether mentally or physically, and mainly psychosocially. Here came our turn, with the help of “Save the Children” and International Organization which is taking a big role in improving the children`s situation in the region where refugees are present and mainly in Lebanon, we were able to start in April 2012 our activities programs and this allowed us to help around 7000 children until now.
To understand the situation more we had to visit the houses, shelters, and tents that refugees where living in. We had to see with our own eyes how are those children trying to adapt in a totally new environment. Children were forced to move out their own homes whether because their houses were destroyed, the place they were living in was not safe anymore, or because one or more than one member of their families was killed.
We visited more 4000 houses with more than 10000 families since in each house or shelter if we can name it the average was four families in each shelter.
This was really effective, entering the place where five Syrian families are living together, sometimes relatives, neighbors, or even people who don’t know each other and just needed partners to live with, whether they welcomed them to live together for free, or because they wanted someone to share the rent with.
We were able to see the children trying to create some space for them in those accommodations, to feel safe, to have friends, and to recover from what they have passed through.
We were definitely sure that we should start acting that we should interfere in the lives of those children.
Child Protection Programs
Child Protection aims to prevent, respond, to and resolve abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence experienced by children. Child Protection in emergencies gives physiological support activities as Child Friendly Spaces, Resiliency Program, Early Childhood Development and Youth Program.
Child Friendly Spaces:
Child Friendly Space is to provide children with a protected environment in which they can participate in organized activities to play, socialize, learn, and express themselves as they rebuild their lives.
The two most common objectives of Child Friendly Spaces are:
To offer children opportunities to develop, learn, play and strengthen resiliency after an emergency or crisis, or during a protracted emergency. To identify and find ways to respond to particular threats to all children or specific groups of children, such as those with particular vulnerability, after the emergency. In our Child Friendly Spaces we have divided the three hours daily program into: one hour of educational activity and the two hours into creative, imaginative, physical, communicative or manipulative activities.
Child resiliency program:
Child resiliency program is a program with different components:
Based on needs assessments Facilitator training Workshop with children Meetings with parents Encourages community activities Resilience AIM:
Promote psychological wellbeing and resilience Raise awareness of issues impacting children’s safety and wellbeing Explore ways to address these issues Strengthen referral pathways and child protection system Each group will be attending nine workshops each workshop for two hours once a week. And also we have three parents meeting: - first is before we start the program to be explaining the program to families and having their acceptance - The second is after the second workshop - third meeting is after workshop number seven.
Each workshop is defined depending on the guide book of resiliency program in which two animators from LAY have been well trained and prepared to lead this workshops.
In youth programs we have been applying the Siraj tools bag to empower youth. Siraj program helps the youth to develop and improve their capacities through their integration in the society. This program encourage the youth to discover and stimulates the desire of leadership in the society.
Early childhood Development:
Young children are in the most important stage of life. What the child learns during these few years will influence the rest of the life. ECD is about working holistically around the child, to target their needs and to encourage a protective environment in which the child can healthy develop.
Mother support Group:
Eight awareness raising sessions are held by animators on positive parental guiding to different groups.
Summer Accelerated Learning Program:
As the schools were starting in the first of September, the Syrian children had to be prepared especially that they are used to a different curriculum; the Syrian curricula. The major obstacle was the language whether English or French depending on the schools that the children will be enrolled in.
With the beginning of schools and after the summer accelerated program ended, remedial classes started to be able to follow up with the children attending schools. Students were divided into groups attending the remedial classes every day after their school time. They are getting the suitable support in every subject they are taking at schools, whether Math, English, Arabic, and Sciences.
Remedial classes are the best way to help the Syrian students with their studies and homework, to give them extra support on Lebanese Curriculum.
Accelerated Learning Program:
As a big number of children was not able to get into school due to the lack of places or because they came late we have been working with 900 Syrian children in ALP classes preparing children to be able to get into school next year, due to the difference that we have from Syrian to Lebanese curriculum.
Every 3 months LAY under education Program with Save the children plans a festival day for the children where they can move to another environment outside classes and LAY center to play, dance, have fun and eat all together.
Due to the direct contact we had with the Syrian children present in the region, we have the opportunity of knowing numbers of people found and their needs. This unplanned statistics and info gathering created a base for people in the area to be able to distribute for them, and we are always having the chance to distribute and help people in need as much as we can. Main items distributed are hygiene kits, new baby born kits, shoes, pajamas, jackets, underwear, socks, blankets, shampoo, bread, food itemsand winter plastic boots. With the support of Save the Children and other people who wanted to donate and help us in this situation more than 4000 persons benefited from our distribution.
Concerning distribution we are always ready to distribute when we receive any NFIs after a needs assessment is made, we can select our target group, organize the distribution and go for it.
During the schools registration period, our center was a registration center in central Bekaa area families with their children came on daily basis to register their children. During this time, we had the chance to register the families’ numbers, place of living, and their basic needs. For the Back to School Campaign we registered 1200 children.