disaster relief

Child Friendly Spaces in Lebanon

Group games in Child Friendly Spaces help refugee children feel normal again
Group games in Child Friendly Spaces help refugee children feel normal again

2 Year Snapshot

  • Child Friendly Spaces model for kids out of school
  • School support for 600 children
  • 3,000 refugees kept warm
  • 15,000 refugees given food
  • Facilitated 1,000 families’ refugee status

Over 2 million Syrians fleeing the war have poured into Lebanon; more than to any other country. This generous nation of only four million people has limited capacity to deal with a refugee influx of this scale. Yet, as fighting in Syria intensifies, the number of innocent civilians affected continues to grow.

Since the early days of the Syrian crisis, AMURT Lebanon has been supporting refugees in the mountainous upper Chouf district with their basic needs; providing fuel, blankets and warm clothing to protect against the cold winters. AMURT’s current focus is on the wellbeing of the refugee children.

out of school
Refugee Children out of school

The Plight of Syrian Children

Up to half the refugee children have no access to education for a variety of reasons; and many have not seen a school classroom for two years. Even refugee children in school face difficulties: one in three are unable to function properly due to the psychological scars left by the traumatizing experiences of war.

AMURT is one of several NGOs working to bring a sense of normalcy back to the lives of these children. Wherever possible, AMURT works with parents and school directors to place Syrian children directly into local government schools, while also providing group or individual psychosocial therapy to help the children integrate into their new environment.

If school placements are unavailable, or if a child requires special preparation and psycho-social assistance before entering regular school life, then AMURT’s Child Friendly Space model is the best option.

Refugee child making his mark
Refugee child making his mark

Child Friendly Spaces

Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) are safe, nurturing and stimulating environments, which provide young refugees the chance to rediscover their innate innocence and positivity. Children usually spend their first three months in the CFS free from educational targets, benefiting from a structured routine full of stimulating activities. This initial period helps them re-enter society and prepare for learning.

After this initial period, the children start a basic numeracy and literacy program, which not only stimulates their desire for learning, but provides AMURT staff with a way to measure whether they are ready to join the public school system. Once a child is ready, the next step is either to join the Back to School program, or a longer intensive learning course, such as the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), to quickly reach a suitable school entry level. In this way AMURT is creating a pathway to education.

Psycho-social Support

The AMURT psycho-social team supports children in both the CFS and public schools. They conduct observations and assessments, often working with groups or individuals referred by a teacher.

Conditions most commonly observed in Syrian children include fear, trauma, ADHD / hyperactivity, loneliness, low self-esteem and aggressiveness.

Where needed, the psychologists may use cognitive, behavioural, and positive therapies as well as psychodrama and relaxation techniques; all aimed at helping children overcome psychological distress and restoring their normal healthy outlook and behaviour.

CFS trauma art
Art therapy provides children with an outlet for their trauma so they can move into a better future.

AMURT’s psycho-social team supports children in both the CFS and public schools. They conduct observations and assessments, often working with groups or individual children referred by a teacher. The conditions most commonly observed in Syrian children include fear, trauma, ADHD, loneliness, low self-esteem and aggressiveness.

The psychologists draw upon a variety of therapeutic approaches (cognitive, behavioral, and positive), as well as psychodrama and relaxation techniques; all aimed at helping children overcome psychological distress and restore their normal healthy outlook and behavior.

Every therapy session begins with psycho-education to help students better understand themselves. They discover that what they are going through is a normal and common response to intensely traumatic experiences.

Community Participation

When parents enroll their children, they are asked to volunteer at least once a week in the program, so now many mothers regularly support CFS activities, helping to build a sense of community.

Psychologists and outreach staff regularly work with parents on family issues. This brings many positive changes in parents’ relations with their children, and further enhances Syrian community involvement with the project.

 

Back to School

Innocent children are suffering most as a result of the Syrian war that began more than three years ago. Many have gone without education for a long period since the outbreak of fighting and the vast majority of refugees streaming into Lebanon remain outside the school system.

school-children_lebanon

AMURT pays school fees and arranges transport for the most vulnerable refugees spread throughout the mountains. It is a vital help to get these youngsters back into school, where they can experience social inclusion, stimulation and a stable routine to help soothe the horrors of war and dislocation. AMURT also engages psycho-social specialists to assist their healing process and conducts teacher training to provide children a broader support network.

The joy of not being left out: being able to wear a school uniform.

Education: Hope for the Future This young Syrian girl is seen receiving her first school uniform. The previous year, her parents were forced to choose which of their children to educate, as they couldn’t afford the expenses for all. Teachers recognised she was unusually gifted, and begged she be kept in school, helping as they could. She adapted quickly to the Lebanese curriculum and excelled in all her subjects. This year, due to AMURT’s intervention, she is fully registered in school along with all of her siblings. AMURT also provided them text books and school uniforms.

Blackboard

Help for Struggling Schools Many Lebanese schools were already struggling before the enormous wave of refugees. Now refugees fill 30% of the classes in some schools, which is becoming a considerable burden on resources. Upgrading essential equipment is one way AMURT helps schools cater for newly arrived Syrians.

Joy_of_belonging

The Joy of Belonging: Wearing a School Uniform Children affected by the trauma of war and being uprooted from their former life require quick re-establishment of an educational routine and psycho-social support to regain a normal development path.

German donor agency Kinder Not Hilfe has sponsored AMURT Lebanon’s Back to School and Child Friendly Space programs since October 2013.

Winter Relief

Chouf_winter_freeze2

To help vulnerable refugee families though the bitterly cold mountain winter, during 2013/14, AMURT distributed heating stoves and fuel on behalf of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

harsh_conditions

Harsh Conditions This family is smaller than most, but endures harsh conditions all too common. Referred to AMURT by the local municipality, they lived in a 10m2 section of a concrete shed used for farm machinery. There was no window glass, just holes, and no running water. They collected water from a spring 200m away; bathing and toilet were outdoors. The mother, when already 9 months pregnant with her second child, slipped and fell in the icy cold: the baby did not survive. The father worked long hours for the farmer, earning under $5 a day.

Winter_stoves

Winter Stoves Weather forecasters predicted an especially cold winter for Lebanon’s mountains, where snowfall of 2 meters occurs in higher areas. Fuel-burning stoves are essential items, particularly for the many families living in poor housing or caring for a relative with a medical condition.

Motherless children

Motherless Children Two girls now in their grandmother’s care, who explains how their mother died in a bombing just one hour after giving birth to the younger child. She points to the eldest. “She kept asking for her mother for one month; but after that she came close to me.” Their father remained in hospital in Syria.

 

Food_distribution

Food Distribution Refugees just arriving from Syria often lack even the most basic essentials. Between 2012-13 AMURT provided all who reached Chouf District with certain emergency assistance they required: ranging from food to blankets, mattresses, and special kits for hygiene or baby needs.

AMURT is the main international NGO based in upper Chouf and works with village coordinators, municipalities and local and international NGOs. In addition to international support personnel, AMURT Lebanon has a ready pool of dedicated local staff and volunteers: team members include Lebanese and displaced Syrians, who have a strong desire to ease the suffering of their country-folk. According to the UN, this is the worst refugee crisis for 20 years. More can and must be done. AMURT is uniquely positioned to make a difference. Your help will make that possible. Help expand services for Syrian refugees and refugee children: make a secure online donation now.

 

AMURT allocates an average of 90% of all donations and grants directly to service project expenses. More photos on Facebook Tax deduction info here

Typhoon Relief Response in Philippines

Thousands of people are feared to have been killed when Super-Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines early Friday morning with winds reaching as much as 310km/h (195mph), possibly the strongest ever to hit the country.

AMURT & AMURTEL were already engaged in earthquake recovery in the area and immediately began typhoon relief. Read more

Syria Crisis Response 2013 Report

syrians-register-for-food

 1 Year Snapshot

  • School support for 550 kids
  • 3,000 refugees kept warm
  • 15,000 refugees given food
  • Facilitated 1,000 families’ refugee status

Over 1 million Syrians fleeing the war have poured into Lebanon so far: more than to any other country. This generous nation of only 4 million people has limited capacity to deal with a refugee influx of this scale. Yet, as fighting intensifies, the number of innocent civilians affected continues to grow.

AMURT Lebanon extends emergency relief to Syrian refugees and helps them to get their children back to school. Food, blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits are supplied from AMURT’s warehouse. The team also works to ensure families can weather the harsh mountain winter by providing and installing new heating stoves for the most needy and distributing fuel they can burn. Only 15% of refugee children in Lebanon are in school. So AMURT supports local schools to increase their capacity, then provides fees, bus transport and clothing to give the most vulnerable families access to education for their children.[one_half]

Back to School

Innocent children are suffering most as a result of the Syrian war that began more than two years ago. Many have gone without education for a long period since the outbreak of fighting and the vast majority of refugees streaming into Lebanon remain outside the school system.

school-children_lebanon

AMURT pays school fees and arranges transport for refugees spread throughout the mountains in a scheme sponsored by Kinder Not Hilfe (Germany). It is a vital help to get these youngsters back into school, where they can experience social inclusion, stimulation and a stable routine to help soothe the horrors of war and dislocation. AMURT also engages psycho-social specialists to assist their healing process and conducts teacher training to provide children a broader support network.

The joy of not being left out: being able to wear a school uniform.

Education: Hope for the Future

Last year, this Syrian girl’s parents had to choose which of their children to educate, as they couldn’t afford the expenses for all of them. Teachers recognised she was unusually gifted, and requested she stay in school, helping as they could. She adapted quickly to the Lebanese curriculum, which employs less Arabic, and proceeded to excel in all her subjects. This year, due to AMURT’s intervention, she is fully registered in school along with all of her siblings. AMURT also provided text books and their very first school uniforms.

Blackboard

Help for Struggling Schools

Many Lebanese schools were already struggling before the enormous wave of refugees. Now refugees fill 30% of the classes in some schools, which is becoming a considerable burden on resources. Upgrading essential equipment is one way AMURT helps schools cater for newly arrived Syrians.

Joy_of_belonging

The Joy of Belonging: Wearing a School Uniform

Children affected by the trauma of war and being uprooted from their former life require quick re-establishment of an educational routine and psycho-social support to regain a normal development path.

Winter Relief

Chouf_winter_freeze2

To help vulnerable refugee families though the bitterly cold mountain winter, AMURT is distributing heating stoves and fuel on behalf of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

harsh_conditions

Harsh Conditions

This family is smaller than most, but endures harsh conditions all too common. Referred to AMURT by the local municipality, they live in a 10m2 section of a concrete shed used for farm machinery. There is no window glass, just holes, and no running water. They collect water from a spring 200m away; bathing and toilet are outdoors. The mother, when already 9 months pregnant with her second child, slipped and fell in the icy cold: the baby did not survive. The father works long hours for the farmer, earning under $5 a day.

Winter_stoves

Winter Stoves

Weather forecasters predict an especially cold winter this year for Lebanon’s mountains, where snowfall of 2 meters occurs in some areas.

Fuel-burning stoves are essential items, particularly for the many families living in poor housing or caring for a relative with a medical condition.

Motherless children

Motherless Children

Two girls now in their grandmother’s care, who explains how their mother died in a bombing just one hour after giving birth to the younger child. She points to the eldest. “She kept asking for her mother for one month; but after that she came close to me.” Their father remains in hospital in Syria.

Food_distribution

Food Distribution

Refugees just arriving from Syria often lack even the most basic essentials. AMURT provides all who reach Chouf District with certain emergency assistance they may require: ranging from food to blankets, mattresses, and special kits for hygiene or baby needs.

AMURT is the main international NGO based in upper Chouf and works with village coordinators, municipalities and local and international NGOs. In addition to international support personnel, AMURT Lebanon has a ready pool of dedicated local staff and volunteers: team members include Lebanese and displaced Syrians, who have a strong desire to ease the suffering of their country-folk.

According to the UN, this is the worst refugee crisis for 20 years. More can and must be done. AMURT is uniquely positioned to make a difference. Your help will make that possible.

Help expand services for the flood of new refugees seeking assistance: make a secure online donation now.


More photos on Facebook

Tax deduction info here

 

Himalaya floods

Uttarakhand Update and Banking info

18 workers and volunteers of AMURT and 10 workers and volunteers of AMURTEL have distributed two trucks loaded materials consisting of 20 quintals of rice, 18 quintals of flour, 4 quintals of pulse, 150 cartoons of mineral water, 5500 pieces of torches, 800 blankets, 150 cartoons of clothes (Saris shirts and children’s wear) milk powders, tea leafs, soaps, juice, towels etc. in the worst affected villages such as Agust muni, Chandrapara, vijayawada, Falayi, Gangapur, Sitapuri, Baniary, Chaka etc of Gupt Kashi Area (Kedarnath) of Uttarakhand.

Your help to Uttarakhand victims in kind or cash will be highly appreciated. Following In charges may be contacted.

1. Ac. Raviprakashananda Avadhuta (Sectorial AMURT Coordinator) is based now near Agust muni in Rudraprayag. mobile number : 08449057629

2. Ac. Devakripananda Avadhuta (RS) Allahabad camping at Haridwar, Mobile- 09897619190

Name of the beneficiary : Acharya Devakripananda

Name of the Bank : State Bank of India, Vidhansabha Marg Branch, Luckhnow.

Account no. 30695868369, IFSC ISBN No: 0060284, Branch code : 60284

3. Sri Chakradhar Prasad (Shastriji) Haridwar- (AMURT Incharge) Mobile- 09997087456

Chakradhar Prasad

State Bank Of India Ranipur Branch , Haridwar

Account No. 10667850376.

 

Photos are here    |  International donation link is here

DSCN0795

 

Syria crisis response

The Syrian crisis has led to a large number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees. At the end of September this figure stood at around 2 million IDPs in Syria and 400,000 refugees in neighboring countries. Most of these people depend on humanitarian assistance, or sharing host families’ dwindling resources to meet basic needs. This figure is growing daily and has led to a doubling of people in need in the last couple of months.

AMURT & AMURTEL has local volunteers in Syria and Lebanon distributing food, non-food items and providing assistance with medical and educational needs. In Lebanon, AMURT runs case management services for refugee families hosted by their friends and relatives in the mountain villages overlooking Beirut. The AMURT team selects the most urgent cases and works patiently to meet their individual needs, be they getting a child admitted to a local school, finding a hospital willing to provide urgent medical care or connecting them with larger agencies and their services. .

Many of the refugees have harrowing tales to tell. Mohammed, a grandfather, took shelter with relatives in western Syria, but had trouble even getting bread as the streets were too dangerous to enter. He used his savings to pay an extortionate fee to a driver to take him across the border. “It was like escaping from jail,” Mohammed said. “The driver took a lot of money because we could die in the street.” We have organized much-needed medical supplies and winter items for Mohammed and his family.

AMURT is appealing for funds to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees seeking our assistance.

Download current proposal: Syrian refugees in Lebanon – general proposal  (version 3 – October 29)

During home visits AMURT representatives talks to refugee families about their needs and opportunities in Lebanon.

Zahraa and her family arrived in Lebanon as refugees from Syria a month ago. For the first two weeks they stayed at a construction site but are now in temporary housing. AMURT helped Zahraa to go to school and provided her family with bedding and other necessities for the winter.

On November 18 AMURT gave 115 Syrian refugee families 40 kilos of food items, 10 kilos of baby food and 10 kilos of non-food household items.

More photos on Facebook

AMURT is appealing for funds to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees seeking our assistance.

Make a donation to the Syria Crisis Response safely online today!




Tax deduction info here

Manila Floods

In the Philippines local AMURT & AMURTEL volunteers responded to massive floods in early August in and around Manila. Throughout the month they distributed cooked food, bread, drinking water, and hygiene items to more than 10,000 people. Read more

Philippines Flood Relief

In Cagayan de Oro the AMURT team distributed food rations to 400 families at Lower Balulang, Cagayan de Oro City. After recent flooding in Southern Philippines more than 1,000 persons died or are missing and 300,000 have had to flee to shelters after their homes and villages were washed away. AMURT Philippines has several teams in the area assisting the affected communities.

Updates and photos on Facebook | Visit AMURT Philippines website

Donate securely online for the

Philippines Flood Response

Read more

New Zealand earthquake response

AMURT & AMURTEL volunteers in New Zealand distribute 1,000 bottles of After Shock Bach Flower Rescue Remedy after the massive earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand on February 23, 2011 Read more