Music unites us: children summer camp at the Syrian border
This summer young people from across the sectarian and national divide will be singing from the same song sheet at a summer camp on top of the Lebanese mountains.
In the heat of the summer, the Syrian crisis has lost none of its ferocity. Millions of Syrians are still stranded in neighbouring countries where they face an uncertain future. The return to Syria is blocked for most by the Syrian regime and the host countries are more and more pressing them to leave. Lebanon alone, a small country of 4.5 million inhabitants that has gone through 30 years of civil war and occupation, has welcomed more than 1.5 million Syrians. After 7 years of conflict, hope is vanishing. Nobody seems to care anymore. Who we are
We are a team of 20 volunteers from Europe, Syria and Lebanon and we refuse to give up hope. We are here on the invitation of Relief & Reconciliation, a small NGO born out of the spirit of Christian-Muslim friendship, open to all, that is combining peacebuilding with humanitarian aid in response to the Syrian crisis. We came and witnessed the biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War 2 and we want to make a difference.
We need your help to support our volunteer work. None of us is paid for our service but we need your financial support for the benefit of the children we serve. Our project
In the end of August, we are organising a summer mountain camp that will bring together Syrian and Lebanese youth of different confessions. Christians and Muslims will visit the high mountains of the other community, often for the first time, and sing. Music unites us despite of all our differences. Music is our common language.
We recognise that many of you will already have contributed to the humanitarian efforts in support of those affected by the war in Syria, but three weeks before the camp begins we are facing a shortfall of funds. Can you help us deliver on our promise to young people impacted by the war to provide some much needed fun through this collective music camp?What we need
The NGO has already raised €1500 for a day-camp with 45 Syrian and Lebanese children aged 9-13 who will be accompanied by us, 20 international and local volunteers. Our goal is to raise €3,000 more to expand the camp for three more days. We need this time to make the mixed children choir a success. We will spend every day 3 hours in rehearsals on top of the mountains and 3 other hours in educational cross-country games.
The plans are made. Now we need some more funds to make them happen. The participating families have limited means and we need to cover all the costs of this camp, from arranging the buses to transport the children, renting tents, organising water for drinking and for washing facilities and buying food to provide three meals a day. This is a breakdown of the project costs:
- €600 for transportation (buses and drivers). Younger children will need daily transport.
- €300 for tents and sleeping equipment for the youth staying overnight
- €1,350 for food and water (3 meals a day and water for 65 participants on 3 more days)
- €300 for paying a qualified choral master to conduct our children choir
- €300 for materials (music/sport equipment/arts & crafts)
- €150 for the print of song sheets and programme flyers
Should we achieve the goal of raising the amount for Summer Camp and if there is any money left over, this would be used to fund R&R’s Back to School Campaign in September that will help to enroll Syrian refugees into public Lebanese schools.The NGO we support
R&R (Relief& Reconciliation for Syria) is a small and independent NGO that is running since 2013 a Peace Centre at the Northern border of Lebanon in the Akkar province. R&R has provided regular education to more than 1,100 Syrian refugee children and Lebanese throughout these years. So far, more than 150 international volunteers of the most diverse origins from around the world have lived and worked at the Peace Centre, joining forces with Lebanese and Syrian teachers of all local communities.
Akkar is one of the poorest regions where the percentage of Syrian refugees living under the poverty line is the highest. Nevertheless, this is a very diverse region where various religious communities have been living next to each other for many centuries. It is a region of hospitality: the poor are welcoming the poor.A big thank you!
Even if you cannot give much, you can help us to spread the word. Please promote our initiative within the circle of your families, colleagues and friends! Please follow us on Facebook and organise a fundraiser for us in your home town! Also if you are interested in joining volunteering for next year’s summer programme, please do contact us for more information.
More information about our NGO:http://www.reliefandreconciliation.org/home/
We are also on Facebook with more recent posts about what do we at the Peace Centre.https://www.facebook.com/relief4syria/