Saturday, September 13, 2008

PfP National Building Playgrounds for Palestinians in Lebanon

Thanks to seed money from Dr Nabil Qaddumi, PfP was able to partner with MECA (Middle East Children's Alliance) and ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) to initiate playground projects in Lebanon. On September 30, 2008, three playgrounds will arrive for installation in Ein el Hilweh and Nahr el Bared refugee camps.

In addition,
152 soccer balls are being shipped with our equipment to Lebanon courtesy of Little Feet Sports. The children will be so happy to receive those along with the playgrounds to enjoy!

Nahr el Bared
(The site of the future playground is to the right)
The Nahr el Bared Camp (NBC) was established in December 1949 by the League of Red Cross Societies in order to accommodate the Palestinian refugees suffering from the difficult winter conditions in the Beqa’a valley and the suburbs of Tripoli. Located 16km from the city of Tripoli and occupying an area of about 20 km2, some 31,000 displaced Palestinians and their descendents live in and around the camp, named after the river that runs south of the camp.

On 20th May 2006, fierce clashes erupted between armed members of the radical group Fatah Al Islam (FAI) and the Lebanese Army in Tripoli in northern Lebanon. These quickly spread to the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el Bared (NBC), causing more than 300 deaths. The camp was decimated and became uninhabitable. The human, economic and political consequences of this conflict are severe.

The "new" Nahr el Bared camp was set up to accommodate the refugees of the refugee camp and is in great need of help. PfP has partnered with ANERA and MECA to provide children in this impoverished camp with a safe and fun place to play.

Ein el Hilweh, UN Refugee camp in Lebanon: Najdeh Preschool
Najdeh Association, a local NGO doing great work with Palestinian children in refugee camps, has a preschool in Ein El-Helweh Camp in Saida which serves a highly impoverished community of Palestinian refugees. The preschool serves around 90 children aged 3 to 5 in the mornings Sunday to Thursday and hosts youth activities on Friday and Saturday for 90 to 100 kids aged 7 to 14. They have youth activities organized by ARCPA/al-Jana, another wonderful NGO working in the camps. The space available is part of the preschool property directly adjacent to the two-story school building which is walled-in and currently empty. To the right is the playground being sent for the site.

Our partner organization, ANERA, worked intensively with Najdeh Association in the distribution of kits during the summer 2006 war and they currently participate in ANERAs Mother and Child Health Program.

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