This Friday, we reopened the doors of the R&R Peace Centre for the children of the Bkarzla village after the summer break, so they could enjoy playing in the garden.
It strikes me to see how eager the children are to come and to play around. It has to be said that the Friday Fun has been a quite established activity and it goes without saying that by inviting one family or two, basically all the children will turn up. Some of the kids would come in their best clothes, wearing fancy dresses and their hair either plaited or neatly done. Although I think we do not have a lot to offer in terms of material we use, it seems to be something very special to the children.
Others would come along with their bikes, which poses some difficulties, as the kids love to cruise around with those in the fairly limited backyard and garden we got at the Peace Centre. Some of the older boys got so much energy, that they would just chase each other around the house, not being really interested in any game, but keeping the ball for themselves. We had problems forming a circle of kids to play a game together, yet, when offering a table with just pencils and paper on it, they would sit down for quite just focusing on their drawings. Older siblings might help them as well as they tend to take care of their younger brothers and sisters at a rather young age anyhow. Although some kids would just not care too much about rules and simply skip those in front of your -eyes, yet, if asked, they were eager to help with any task – and if it’s just collecting the rubbish.
I used to work in the refugee aid with the German Red Cross back at home in Germany, so I already worked with refugee children, knowing some common behavior patterns, as being responsible for their younger siblings quite early, but also tending to throw the rubbish away as they are walking. Now I am in another context, their context, if you might like to call it as Lebanon is an Arabic speaking country and they know the Peace Centre longer than I have been here. They are very special children indeed, always waving at us when we pass by their tents, sometimes even running up to us. The Friday Fun is quite of an eye opener, but there is much more to be learned from the children when the homework help and the language classes are about to start next week.
Communication Assistant – Autumn Term 2017