Express Yourself


In a Child-Friendly Space in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, Syrian refugees use art to express their feelings of loss and hope.

When Faras, 11, draws a picture of his past in Syria, he sketches an idyllic landscape with a smiling sun, a rushing river, and a green field where he and his brother once cared for sheep. Habib, 9, instead uses a black crayon to outline a helicopter dropping bombs.

Given the opportunity to draw their past, present, and future, young Syrian refugees in a Child-Friendly Space in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon express a wide range of feelings.

That’s entirely appropriate, says Bassima, the center supervisor, who is also a Syrian refugee: “We have a past that is both beautiful and ugly.”

Animators, the adults who lead activities for different age groups of children, don’t ask them about their painful experiences and losses, she says.

“We provide a peaceful place for them to feel their freedom. It’s a safe place for them to experience feelings and memories," Bassima says.

Photo©2016 World Vision, Jon Warren

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