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30/8-2017Street sports to help refugee children in Lebanon

With the new program Lebanon Street Sports Relief (LSSR) targeted refugee children and youth, GAME will for the first time engage in emergency relief.

The reason behind this move is that all children have a right to play and refugee children are more often than others lacking such opportunities. By combining cash distribution with capacity building of youth as street sports instructors 250 individuals will benefit from life-saving remittances and another 1,500 children and youth will improve their living conditions through sports.

“For children who have fled a war, a game of street basketball may not be the first need you come to think of. But there is a reason why sports and play is a human right of the child as it brings joy and friendships to the children and overshadow the grief and horrors they have witnessed. With this new relief initiative I’m delighted that GAME will be able to make a small difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children and their families in Lebanon”, says Chairman in GAME, Anders Monrad Rendtorff.

Background
As the Syrian civil war is about to enter its seventh year, Lebanon officially hosts 1,011,366 registered Syrian Refugees (UNHCR, 2017). The actual number however is estimated to be closer to 1.5 million, as the Government of Lebanon has suspended new registrations as per May 2015. This puts an enormous pressure on the host communities, which oftentimes are already deprived neighborhoods and rural towns. Out of an estimated total population of 5.9 million people living in Lebanon, the number of people in need is 3.3 million (56 %).

About LSSR
LSSR will respond to the Syrian Crisis through a life-saving and stabilizing intervention by paying monthly reimbursements and building the capacity of selected youth as street sports organizers and positive community role models. LSSR will cover basic survival needs (food, water, shelter, etc.) for 50 households reaching an estimated 250 vulnerable individuals.

In partnership with the organization Basmeh & Zeitooneh (‘Smile & Olive) GAME Lebanon is already implementing activities for refugee children and youth in the Palestinian refugee camp Shatila in the hearth of Beirut’s southern neighborhood. In 2016 the activities in the camp engaged no less than 631 children and youth at one of Basmeh & Zeitooneh’s centers with a 35 % female attendance. Basmeh & Zeitooneh (B&Z) has another six similar centers across the country where they provide relief and development for Syrian and Palestinian refugees, as well as marginalized Lebanese communities. It is the intention to use this infrastructure to scale-up the successful activities already tested.

The project has received funding from the The Danish Emergency Relief Fund administered by Civil Society in Development (CISU) in collaboration with Save the Children Denmark, Start Network, and funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.