Children mark their success in special event

Tuesday 1 November 2016

They have been learning through recreation for months. And today, this group of talented children are demonstrating their skills with the same tool.

Save the Children’s centre in Mount Lebanon was the stage of a series of spectacular performances, as children took part in an event to mark the end of a successful five-month Education and Child Protection project.

From all ages, children performed in front of their parents and a large crowd that gathered at the centre’s playground to watch them dance, sing and recite some of what they learnt here.

A handcraft exhibition organised on the sidelines of the event reflected children’s dreams, rights and, most significantly, artistic abilities.

Ghina, 13, is proud of her contribution to the dance that she trained on with her friends from the ‘’Butterflies’’ classroom. She is also a talented painter who enjoys drawing her friends.

‘’I have been here for three months. It is the best school I have been to,’’ says Ghina.

‘’I love my teachers. They treat us well and make sure we understand everything. They taught us about confidence and dialogue and told us that children should not be hurt.’’

Ghina’s father, who brought his family to Lebanon when conflict escalated in Syria’s city of Aleppo, is both delighted and amazed to see substantial progress in his four children’s development at the centre.

‘’My children did not know how to read or write properly,’’ says Mr Rajab*. ‘’It is because of the war. We did not have time to look after them. Save the Children welcomed them here. Since then, I have noticed huge difference.

‘’They used to be always tense. My daughter Ghina* had heart problems- increased heart rate. She is a sensitive girl. She could not cope with the new environment [in refuge]. War has destroyed everything.

‘’At this school, she felt safe and settled. It helped us a lot. I am very happy to see this improvement.’’

The Child Resilience activities, implemented by Save the Children’s Child Protection team in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, helps provide vulnerable children with stability and care. More than 1,100 Syrian refugee children between 5-14 years have been reached through this Education and Child Protection integrated programme.

Amina, teacher at Save the Children, described how this project- funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)- helps refugee children catch up on years savaged by war.

‘’For many of these children, it is the first time they have been to school,’’ Amina reveals.

‘’This project has helped develop their personality and confidence. [We] have seen huge improvement, particularly during the Child Resilience sessions, where they discuss and ask about anything in their mind.

‘’You could see it reflected in the exhibition we have many child protection related themes. We discuss child rights and they always have a lot of questions.’’

Ghada feels she is now ready to join school. The programme has offered her the opportunity to catch up on lost years and helped her realise that she has inalienable rights to defend.



*Names have been changed for protection purposes