Our Christmas Appeal looks at the complex issue of violence and conflict and the role of local peacemakers.
Featured is our partner Association Najdeh who works in northern Lebanon, in the Nahr al-Bared camp for Palestinian refugees. The camp hosts around 30,000 Palestinians, both those born in Lebanon and those recently displaced from Syria.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are marginalised and impoverished. They are denied access to many basic economic, social or political rights. They are excluded from attending state education, owning property or using free state healthcare. They are forbidden from working in 36 occupations – including many professional jobs in medicine, engineering and law – with only menial jobs available to them.
As part of a wider psychosocial programme, Association Najdeh runs a children’s centre in the camp, which is solely funded by Christian Aid. Based in a brightly decorated four-storey building, the centre is staffed entirely by women: all Palestinian refugees.
Through play therapy, educational activities and counselling, the centre works to protect children from the impacts – and threat – of war, violence, exploitation, abuse, trauma and neglect. The centre supports around 200 young Palestinian refugees each year, in a safe, peaceful environment.