- Approaching its fourth year of operation Magic for Smiles (MFS) has now conducted over 260 shows mostly in Lebanon, an increase of 50 shows in the last 6 months. The initiative has also diversified geographically into the far south of Lebanon and the far north of Bekaa thus now covering most of Lebanon.
- A further 24 organisations (plus 8 private events or festivals) have now cooperated with MFS bringing the total to over 118 organisations (plus 32 private events or festivals) to date in addition to 4 fundraising outlets. Champions among organisations for regular or integrated work are the exciting minority but more are planned, though so far are frustrated by funding cuts to children’s programmes.
- Fundraising events and registration as a UK charity have been in process during this period.
- Lebanon still has around 1 million (1 in 4 persons) as registered Syrian refugees of whom over 20% are estimated to be under the age of 11, in addition to up to 500,000 Palestinians. Neighbouring countries have high Syrian refugee population as well – Turkey 2.7 million, Jordan 0.7 million and Iraq about 250,000 as well as displaced people.
Increasing benefits of magic:
- MFS sets out to provide entertainment and de-stressing to deprived kids in Lebanon and elsewhere.
- In itself this contributes to psychosocial support especially within unstructured or recreational interventions, but also has potential through structured activities and with the incorporation of messaging. Benefits are cited below, although naturally the more repeated exposure to magic the better.