In the framework of the Child Protection Program at Amel Association in partnership with UNICEF, a community event was held in Hay El Sellom Development center, where the psycho-social activities of this program are taking place since 2015.
The event gathered 203 children, focusing mainly on child rights in parallel with awareness sessions with 55 caregivers on positive parenting, and child development.
Different fun activities were organized with the children, giving them a space to express themselves, and learn about child rights through art and educational games.
Child protection projects implemented by Amel and its partners focus on a psycho-social activities with children aged 6-16, as well as their caregivers aiming at engendering social behavioral change on a community level. This project aims at protecting children and caregivers from all types of violence, including early marriage and child labor by providing them with the knowledge and tolls necessary to become primary actors in their own protection. During 2018, 3660 children benefited from PSS activities across Amel centers.
Community-based psycho-social support activities for Syrian and Lebanese children are currently taking place in 5 Amel centers in the areas of Beirut and North and West Beqaa.
Why child protection?
A famous quote by Dr. Kamel Mohanna president of Amel Association International says: “children have the right to protection. They have the right to survive, to be safe, to belong, to be heard, to receive adequate care and to grow up in a protective environment”. Indeed, The issue of child protection, in areas of conflict, and developing countries, poses a real threat to the development of both refugee and host population children.
Refugee and vulnerable children face a number of protection risks- including abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination. Children as young as 7 are engaged in child labor instead of going to school and living their childhood, largely due to their families’ socio-economic situation. In effect, 22% of Syrian refugees ages 5-17 are engaged in child labor in Lebanon as well as 7% of Lebanese children within the same age.
Amel’s child protection program engages in a holistic approach to try and tackle child labor by targeting the family as a whole: This entails efforts to stop the child from working, giving them access to psycho-social support as well as supporting their caregivers to access income generating opportunities.