War can leave some terrifying scars behind, especially for young adults and children.
It was therefore with great pleasure that we had the chance to lift some of the children being victims by war, to a day where it was all about fun and excitement.
It is in the middle of the afternoon in May that well over a hundred children are getting in line. With their straight backs moving respectively in their designated lines, one would never imagine that there are as young children as three year olds in the lines. It must be the announcement we had made a few minutes earlier, when we told the children they would receive toys especially picked for them.
Their very first toy
Before any thoughts raise your mind, you must remember that many of these children have never owned their own toy before, and many of the children which in fact have owned toys, currently only have them as a distant memory from when they were living safely in Syria before the war. So, the excitement and enthusiasm was over the top this warm day in May.
Several weeks earlier we had identified crucial needs within mental health. This issue is not only related to adults, but also young adults and children. It can easily be presumed that something as simple as a teddy bear has no effect, however this goes against what we have seen in the field. Children are children no matter where they grow up.
The need for a teddy bear is a real need, and the toy can play a crucial role in the little human’s life. As a friend who listens, comforts and show you love, but also a toy that can help you build relational skills for adulthood. It is through games we play as children we train and prepare for adulthood.
Each child ranging from 3 years to 13 years was standing in lines based on age group and gender. They received two items based on their previously identified wishes during assessments performed earlier this year. Abri Aid had for this specifically distribution used some time to make sure that the toys where of high quality, and that it would be items that the children in their specific cultural and social context would enjoy.
Babies and toddlers from 0-2 years also received toys, but in this specific age group we also added nursery items and made sure that the toys given where stimulating knowledge and infant development. While the main identified wish from the average girl was jumping ropes and dolls, most little boys wanted marbles and games they could play in groups.
During the distribution, the adult refugees living in the camp helped, by among others to create lines, count children or inform all families. Even the younger children helped by distributing toys for other kids or helping kids with disabilities. This is a working method we use in Abri Aid to empower the people in need. They are involved in the identification of their own needs, the planning phase, the performance of the activities and the evaluation.
Once the distribution was over a total of 120 children had received a bag from Abri Aid. This is not the last time we will do this. Stop by our blog to read about upcoming social events for both Syrian refugee children and vulnerable Lebanese children in the coming months.