Hoping all my readers are well and find these blogs useful.
I have given ten shows since the last blog a month ago. The children have been mostly Palestinians many of whom are also Syrian Palestinians. The Palestinian shows have been in UN (UNRWA) run schools for Palestinians, and through Palestinian NGOs. In many ways the Palestinians are tougher kids and more entrenched in a life of despair – given the camps in Lebanon are so old and overcrowded with little or no help from the host government who never expected the Palestinians to stay for so long after 1948. There are frequent stories of kids dying from water and electricity cables (intertwined all over the camps) meeting their fate.
The Syrian kids I worked with are however definitely those with least or no institutional exposure – thus very hard to control. However, a school in the hills of Damour south of Beirut, set up by an extraordinary dedicated individual involving the Church provided a venue for a wonderful day’s magic with the over 100 Syrian kids. And up in the hills of Akaar Northern Lebanon Mishwar Amel is doing amazing work with local groups fostering creativity among very stressed out Syrian kids in makeshift camps, and observed how the magic was able to increase levels of concentration not achievable in the classroom.
I have just done a trip to Iraq and was able to link up with a number of local and international organisations for hopefully future collaboration – in the Erbil governorate where all NGOs in Iraq have their national office and where many camps exist, and close to the ongoing crisis in Mosul. I am on standby for work in the Jordan refugee camps after a visit earlier this year.
I have now reached 15% of my crowd-funding target and I am extremely grateful for those who have contributed and shared the post to date. The campaign launched 22 March is still live:
Last months media coverage was happily picked up by Relief Web
Plans are being put in place for a scale up in the run up to Ramadan with local and international NGOs and direct in the Syrian camps. There is a sustained need for traditional and social media marketing.