Had a very interesting time spending half a day interacting with the refugee children at Shatila camp Beirut yesterday.
They appear happy and contented when classes resume after a one-week Haji break. The classes are managed by the Palestinian NGO based in Beirut – National Institution of Social Care & Vocational Training.
You can look through their activities at www.socialcare.org.
I remember my parents took me out of a kindargarten permanently as we were very poor and couldn’t afford the school fees then. I would walk past the school regularly and peep inside marvelling at those who are so priviledged to attend the classes.
The kids spend 6 years here in a refugee childcare facility before moving on to the government schools.
Its the only fun time kids have before they return home to their shoddy apartment. Some are orphans and will return to the orphanage.
The school hours are from 8am to 1pm and most kids are Palestinian refugees with some coming from Syrians and others.
Its a priviledge knowing the kids and they appear strong in the face of adversity. Kudos also to the teachers who show dedication and commitment in their line of duty.
Most of the teachers are refugees themselves.
Sometimes you find tears rolling down your cheek unknowingly when you move around the centre – its that emotional.
It only takes USD $150 to sponsor a refugee child per annum to ensure that he has a decent pre school education before he ventures into the government school. We have so far collected close to $3000.
We are targetting 100 children and it can be a one-off thing.
Let us try to make a small Singaporean dent in this part of the war-torn world…
Visited another kindargarten centre at Bourj AlBarajneh Beirut today.
Its a 2-storey building full of kids from age 3 to 6 years old.
Some just enter the nursery yesterday for the new school term and are abit bewildered.
I am glad to catch them before they leave at 1pm.
Both the centres I visited yesterday and today will be funded by the many Good Samaritans who donated to the refugee cause.
The school also requested for gas heater as winter is approaching and it can be quite cold at 15 deg average. We went around sourcing and will try our level best to donate a few sets to the centre soon.
Each gas heater costs around USD $100 to $120.
Thanks alot Singaporeans as we have made our little significant mark here in Beirut Lebanon.
We may be a small country but we have a big heart!
Source: Gilbert Goh