Youth & Children Relief Centre Shatila refugee camp, Beirut (Lebanon)
The Palestinian Youth Organisation
Youth & Children Relief Centre
Shatila refugee camp, Beirut (Lebanon)
The camp ...
Shatila camp is a Palestinian refugee camp in the heart of Beirut. It encompasses one square kilometre and contains 17,800 Palestinian refugees. Over the years, many refugees of other nationalities also took shelter there. Shatila camp has a very painful history. It was here that in 1982 Phalangists butchered thousands of women, men and children under the condoning eyes of Israel.
… with children and youngsters ...
Apart from practical problems like access for water and electricity, the camp experiences a number of difficulties in providing education for children and youngsters. Normally, when children reach the age of six they attend UNWRA (United Nations Work Relief Agencies) schools. In these schools, the children are stuffed into small classrooms, sometimes even numbering 50 per class. As a consequence, a lot of children and youngsters lack proper guidance. After schooling, the children have little hope of achieving a bright future in Lebanon. By law, there are around 73 occupations that Palestinian refugees are forbidden to practice. Naturally, this affects their motivation to study. About 30 per cent of the children drop out of school. Often — due to bad grades — re-entrance to the school is denied them.
… without opportunities …
The Palestinian Youth Centre is a social, sporting and culturally active centre. It was founded in 1991 by volunteers to fulfil the needs of the camp’s children and youngsters. This is done by offering them support and assistance with their homework, providing coaching in many activities, organising excursions and workshops … The centre was sponsored by Damien Brocher, a Swiss national who was greatly concerned about Shatila camp. Sadly, Damien passed away suddenly while still young in years. Together with him, the Youth Centre died out due to lack of funding.
… or a future?
During the course of our visit in November 2006, we were deeply affected by the situation in which children and youngsters find themselves in Shatila camp. We couldn’t live with the fact that such a large number of children’s needs and demands weren’t being met anymore. Thus we engaged ourselves in revitalising the funding and everyday running of the Youth Centre. To this end, we aim to find 50 persons who are willing to sponsor 20 euros a month to get the Youth Centre working again. If we find more persons, we’ll use the money to fund the library or an IT room.
You can help make a difference by donating 20 euros a month on the account number, “The Children of Shatila”, 001-5053345-12. A standing order would be best. If 20 euros is too much, you’re free to donate 10 euros or less a month. Or even just donate once. Each and every donation will help, no matter how small. All our benefactors will be kept up-to-date with developments in the Youth Centre. Thaera Badran, a young and enthusiastic Palestinian who teaches English, is our contact point in Shatila. She will keep us informed about future developments. As a co-sponsor, you will also regularly hear news about the work of the Youth Centre.
Nele Le Loup: 0032 485/45.97.37 - [email protected]
Bie Kentane: 0032 68/33.96.70 - [email protected]
An Muylaert: 0032 473/96.77.76 – [email protected]
We can make a difference!
The children of Shatila deserve your support
Give them education and a chance for a brighter future!