On the 11 July 2015 WYAME’s Interns implemented their cultural gathering: “Beyond Borders,” a project that aims to unite Syrians and Lebanese by promoting equality, acceptance and of course Human Dignity, WYA’s main mission.
Over 1 million uprooted Syrians currently live among the national Lebanese population of more than 4 million. Lebanon is considered to have the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world.
Central to the event, held last Saturday in Ras el Maten, was its aim to discuss the refugee situation. In order to do this, a definition of the concept of “refugee” was adopted:
According to the 1951 “Refugee Convention,” a refugee is someone who, “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”
Syrian Refugees in Lebanon suffer from very critical conditions: poverty, mistreatment, hunger, insufficient or no shelter, etc. Lebanese, on the other hand, are often somewhat intolerant towards them. This is an everyday struggle that the society as well as the refugees deal with.
By organizing an event uniting Syrian children and Scouts members ages from 10 to 16, WYAME provided education for youth centered on three concepts: acceptance, equality and finally human dignity.
The event started around 10:30 AM with an introduction of the interns so that the audience could connect with them, and then they presented themselves. Next was an historical overview of Would Youth Alliance Organization: how it started, its structure and its role in the Middle East and globally.
The event was then divided into three educative sessions related to equality, acceptance and human dignity. These concepts were presented in a variety of ways including different games.
At the end of the event, participants were invited to sign the Charter so that they could become members of WYA and help provide future generations with hope for humanity. The feedback we received from them in the surveys we distributed was amazing: statistics showed an 88% improvement in the comprehension of the three terms that we discussed. Thus, this project successfully met its goal. It reminded both Lebanese and Syrian young participants that we are all human beings and deserve to be treated equally.