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Trauma of war
Successful emergency education action in Lebanon creates basis for further workVon: NNA
BEIRUT (NNA) – In the Shatila und Borj al Barajne refugees camps in Lebanon, children of Syrian refugees are trying to cope with the trauma they have suffered as a result of the horrific events in the civil war in their home country. Every year, millions of children experience traumatic events. Most of them have to cope with their experiences and memories on their own. Even after years have passed, such unresolved traumas can evoke symptoms that profoundly disturb the development of children and adolescents. By providing stabilising actions on the basis of Waldorf education, emergency education tries to aid traumatised children and adolescents in war zones and disaster areas, by showing ways to process the traumatising experiences. That is what the emergency education team of the international Waldorf organisation Friends of Waldorf Education specialises in doing and in August they were in action again in Lebanon. In Shatila and Borj al Barajne near Beirut, the emergency team from the Friends of Waldorf Education, supported by „Aktion Deutschland hilft“, organised workshops for children affected by the civil war Syria. The team also offered training to Syrian and Lebanese child care workers and established a long-term cooperation with Syrian NGOs. Not only do the children have to cope with the trauma of war, they are also under stress through the confined conditions in the camps and the adult cargivers close to them are themselves suffering from the after-effects of their experiences in a war zone, say the Friends of Waldorf Education. In the workshops, creative activities aim to support the psychosocial stabilisation of the children and prevent post-traumatic stress disorders. Some 100 children participated in the activities in both camps. The workshops were held in kindergartens in cooperation with the “Nazma Learning and Ressource Centre”. “The children really enjoyed taking part in the varied programme. When they were painting, as well as during movement and trust-building exercises, they gradually thawed and were diverted from their otherwise difficult lives in the refugee camps,” the Friends explain. In parallel to the work with the children, the team, with the support of the Lebanese NGO “National Institute for Social Care and Vocational Training (Beit Atfal Assumoud)”, also organised training for educators. The aim is to keep the momentum of the emergency education going once the immediate deployment has finished. Twenty teachers and educators, some of them also working with aid organisations in Syria, made use of the training. Existing contacts mean that further emergency education deployments are planned in Damascus, Tartus and Hama to reach children there. “We are very pleased that during our deployment we were able to build cooperations for a longer term engagement in the region,” Bernd Ruf, leader of the team executive board member of the Friends, explains. END/nna/cva Item: 131015-02EN Date: 15 October 2013 Copyright 2013 News Network Anthroposophy Limited. All rights reserved.