Children’s Mobile Activity Centre, Lebanon
June 1, 2008
This project addressed the psycho-social and developmental needs of children exposed to trauma during the war and the recent fighting in Nahr Al Bared Camp between Fateh Al Islam and the Lebanese army. Besides the growing evidence of post traumatic stress in children as a result of recent hostilities, there has also been a growing concern amongst parents and community groups that religious parties are also offering art therapy classes as a way of attracting these vulnerable youth. This project would be a positive approach to providing them with an alternative safe and healthy community environment in which they can heal.
The activities will take place mainly in the refugee camps in the south of Beirut City but will also tour to the North and South refugee camps in Lebanon throughout the year when it is safe. This program will address the trauma needs of 19,000 children through painting, acting, singing and dancing. It will also increase the awareness of 19,000 children about their rights, tolerance, peace, conflict resolution, participation, helping and accepting others using puppetry and clown shows as well as printed material.
19,000 refugee children’s trauma needs were addressed through various activities including painting, acting, singing, dancing and other activities in refugee camps in Lebanon. All project activities incorporated the aspect of children’s rights and responsibilities in their communities. Project staff were able to gauge the extent of a child’s trauma from their attitude and behavior during the project activities. Children with relatively minor to moderate trauma responded well to the activities, which provided children the space and opportunities to “empty their worries from inside and let them go.” Children were encouraged to speak out and to help other children to speak out and express their feelings and worries.
6 staff and 10 students also attended 6 training workshops on psycho-social issues about Children’s development, Trauma, Dealing with traumatized children, Assessing trauma and Art therapy.