Our current focus is Sam’s House Project Lebanon.
Play is an essential part of early childhood development. When a traumatic event occurs, arrestment of healthy development can take place. Through play a child can learn to explore, express, unlock and process their trauma safely to resume their development into a healthy adult.
Sam’s House Lebanon will offer a safe, therapeutic space for children to explore and process some of their trauma. Our team have visited the Bekaa valley, Lebanon and met with families and organisations who have expressed and researched a real need for this facility. It will be an early year’s centre with a focus on therapeutic play. At present there are no facilities for pre-school children within this area.
The Sam’s House will be in a settlement close to the Syrian border and will be a tented space in keeping with the local tented community.
The children will have the opportunity to take part in facilitated play, art and craft activities and use music and stories as a means of self-expression.
Current situation in Lebanon
Living in a tented settlement in the Bekaa valley is extremely challenging and requires resilience from the Syrian’s who have had to flee unimaginable horrors in Syria because of war. Not only have they lost loved ones, many families have been torn apart with some family members still living in Syria. They have had to leave everything that was familiar to them including jobs, homes, and their hopes for their futures. They are now living in dire circumstances with very little in the way of home comforts, every day is extremely hard trying to manage food and basic living. Many families are struggling not only with this transition but also their emotional distress and pain from all the loss and constant threat of bombings as an after effect of the war.
Due to the political issues in Lebanon there is no official Refugee camps for the Syrian’s. Many have no legal refugee status and are considered as temporarily displaced people (tdp).
Refugees in the Bekaa rent a piece of land or container in exchange for work these are known as tent settlements. The costs are quite high for what is often overcrowded and a temporary structure, often just a timber frame with canvas or plastic laid upon it.
Many of the children living in these tents have very little or no access to education with very little prospects. Younger children also have no safe spaces to play as there is no child care so mothers also can’t work or learn new skills to support their families. This is why a Sam’s house project is so crucial.