Together with Zita I visited these Syrian children in Shatila refugee camp in Beirut. The camp was originally set up for 3000 Palestinians, but it now houses over 25000 refugees, many of them Syrians. This poor camp with it’s dismantled apartments is basically outside of Lebanese police control, and is completely run by gangs.
Many of these traumatized Syrian child refugees turn to gangs at a young age and leave schools. BeFriendMe is an initiative that utilizes classical music, yoga and creativity to channel their traumas into something a bit more positive, and to keep them away from criminality.
Besides the traumas they have encountered and continue to encounter, these kids and their parents don’t have any legal documentation. Through Lebanese regulations, this keeps them from having any job, and it means children can’t get their school diploma. They can still go to a school after school hours, but they can’t participate in any exams, let alone get an official diploma.
In a situation that seems to have little future, we wondered what these kids dream of. What they want to become in the future. And we found out… They still dream big. Check it out for yourself.