1. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 

The Lebanese reality, as is the case in many developing countries, is nowadays affected by the lack of adequate opportunities that can promote tolerance and encourage mutual understanding and dialogue with other cultures. Since the onset of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Lebanon has endured the arrival and settlement of an unprecedented number of refugees, swelling the pre-conflict population by around one quarter, and representing the world’s highest number of refugees per capita (European Commission). This is in addition to the already settled Palestinian refugees registered by UNRWA in Lebanon.

Even before the crisis in Syria broke out, the poverty levels in Lebanon were reportedly high. The living conditions became even worse with the influx of the Syrian refugees. The lack of resources and unsupportive government regulations has increased the sense of competition and resentment between the refugees and the host community on one hand and between the old refugees and the new refugees on the other hand. Lebanese feel that the Palestinian and Syrian refugees are competing with them on resources that should be theirs. Palestinians feel that the Syrians have come to compete with them on already tight resources. These feelings have formed fertile grounds for conflicts, the main recipients of which tend to be children and adolescents.

Noting the rising conflicts and the weak national structures available to deal with them, ARCPA/ AL-JANA is proposing a multi-faceted program aiming at increasing tolerance, building resilience, and extending bridges for the benefit of Palestinian refugee children and adolescents, without excluding host communities. Thus, the program answers to national priorities and works to close existing gaps. The program integrates psycho-social support activities targeting children to strengthen their coping mechanisms and resilience; capacity building and free expression activities targeting adolescents to increase their knowledge on their rights and opportunities for constructive change; capacity building activities for caregivers taking care of children and adolescents; and community activities and cultural programs aimed at building bridges of compassion and understanding.

 

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