After the armed clash that occurred in Nahr El Bared Refugee Camp in the North of Lebanon, around 40,000 people of the inhabitants of the camp were displaced to a nearby camp called Baddawi. The humanitarian situation of the displaced people was miserable; the living conditions were below standards where the camp was hosting three times its population. Thus we saw a need to open up an emergency program in the North with a series of creative and artistic activities. Soon after the displacement moment, AL-JANA started working with the displaced community from Nahr el Bared and their host community from Beddawi camp.
In the specific field of work with war affected communities, the main focus of ARCPA is on assisting children and youth to develop coping strategies by involving them in creative and empowering activities based on one’s self-expression and self-realization.
Some of the activities implemented were:
Young Film Maker Workshop
This is a video workshop with youth from Nahr Al Bared and Beddawi Palestinian refugee camps to socument their experiences during and after the Nahr El Bared crisis. The youth developed ideas for 3 videos, which they then storyboarded, shot and edited. The films produced were:
- Me and My Friend: a film about a story of one boy’s ardent search for his friend who he lost touch with after they parted during the conflict in Nahr Al Bared Refugee Camp in 2007.
- It’s a Long Story: This rap video looks at the dangers of motorcycles speeding in the alleys of the refugee camps. It is a humorous call to action to come together and solve this problem.
- Chance Encounter: In the spirit of Charlie Chaplin, this silent movie unravels what happens when a boy from Beddawi Refugee Camp encounters a new neighbor who has just been displaced because of the Nahr Al Bared conflict
Young Journalist Workshop
This workshop worked with a group of children form Nahr EL Bared and Baddawi camps. The children documented their experience during and after the war period through various ways and produced different artifacts that reflected their thoughts. An exhibition of participants work was held in late 2008 and open to the public which was attended by the participants.
Away From Home Again Exhibition:
The exhibition was held in Beddawi Camp, Beirut- Madina Theatre, and roamed many cities around the world. It presented to the world the photos taken by the children documenting the experience of war and refuge from their point of view. In addition to the photos, the following articles produced by the children were displaced:
- Hero book: Hero Books are both documents, and a process, in which a young person is invited to be the author, illustrator, main character and editor of a book that is designed to give them power over a specific challenge in their life. Participants created Hero Books through a series of drawing exercises and autobiographical story telling. At the end of the process, each participant has a bound storybook of their own making, that heralds and reinforces their hero survival-resilient qualities and that also draws attention to the deeper social issues they face.
- Memory packets: In these envelopes, participants collected their memories of home – personal moments inspired by the five senses are recorded and form an emotive picture of what a home represents…
- Stories from home: Through creating a collage map, Nahr El Bared was ‘rebuilt’ through the memories of participants. Participant re-created their special places, streets, shops and homes and later retold and created story books using the map as a memory trigger…
- We define: Participants defined what ‘home’ and ‘Nahr El Bared’ means to them
- Self Portrait: Using a manipulated photographic portrait, participants created collaged self portraits – from personal photographs, illustrations and found objects.
The photos of the children were produced into a set of Photo-voice_Cards_Pack. The folder contains 13 cards of the pictures taken by the children which bear witness to the impact of war and displacement on children; they also highlight the importance of conflict transformation and the transformative power of the arts.
Away From Home Again Book
“Away From Home Again” is a learning and creative expression odyssey by displaced young Palestinian refugees from Nahr El-Bared camp, Lebanon. Go to the article about the book