Experiences of violence during childhood can have long-term negative effects on the health, (social) skills, attitudes and beliefs of individuals. The context of Palestinian refugee camps is marked by the effects of repeated displacement and direct cultural and social violence.
The influx of Palestinian refugees from Syria and Syrian refugees into the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon caused by the war in Syria has created additional pressure on the already overburdened supply systems. Very few organisations or institutions are currently able to support healthy child development in the camps.
Against this background, the Just Childhood Association opened the doors of its Bait al-Shams kindergarten in the Palestinian refugee camp Shatila in Beirut/Lebanon in October 2015.
Currently, 57 mainly Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syrian and Palestinian refugees from Syria play and learn in groups of 20 children per caregiver. The kindergarten follows the Waldorf model, which focuses on learning in groups of different ages as well as learning from inner motivation and interests.
Seven committed educators have successfully completed a certified 2-year training in Waldorf Education in Early Childhood Education and have been certified by the German Academy for Waldorf Education in Mannheim. The continuous support and further training also led to the qualification of the educators as multipliers, who can now train further educators in future kindergartens in the camp and in the region. Two teachers were additionally trained by Just.Childhood and support the transition of the children into the local school system in the afternoon programme.
Due to armed clashes in Shatila we had to close our kindergarten for some time - in order to avoid possible further closing times we are currently looking for a new suitable property within walking distance of the camp. Thus we want to ensure that we can continue to work with our children and their families. Until we have found new accommodation, we would like to bring our roof garden back into shape.
We are dependent on idealistic and financial support. Further information can be found on our website at www.justchildhood.org or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/just.childhood