Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon

by Developmental Action without Borders/Naba'a
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Dignity for displaced women and girls in Lebanon
Activities with Children
Activities with Children

Background during and after the implementation of the project; The situation  in Lebanon in general  is  un-stable where demonstrations against the government  has started since a month and still up to now , while the security situation in the Palestinian camps is not good  especially after the fight in Ein El Helwe , but its improving by the time

-          As a result of the continuous and systematic discrimination than jeopardizes Palestinian and Syrian refugees capacity to enjoy an adequate standard of living, the majority of Palestinian refugees and Syrian refugees living in Lebanon are almost entirely dependent on UNRWA and UNHCR respectively for basic assistance.  This situation is leaving them at continuous risk of being excluded even from access to basic assistance.   Refugees who are located in the Palestinian refugee camps has had a negative impact on the Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and generate more tension and perhaps conflicts between the three types of refugees, because  they all are suffering from poverty, unemployment, rejection from the wider community and they are both in crucial need for a helping hand.

-          Limited job opportunities; Palestinian men are still competing with other refugees from Syria for work opportunities, which have declined due to post-war economic conditions in Lebanon. The restrictions imposed on them by the Lebanese state further worsen their financial conditions by prohibiting them from practicing professional jobs, and from enjoying ownership and inheritance rights because of their refugee status.

-          Social exclusion physically extends to camps, the space inhabited by about two thirds of Palestine refugees. However, the area of the camps had increased with population and many have become cramped slums, offering little privacy to residents and exposing them to health hazards and more even; social problems had increased recently due to cut of UNRWA services towards the PRS and due to the above mentioned reasons related to job opportunities, all these reasons affected the children’s lives; recently noticed an increase in conflicts among the displaced and host communities. 

-          Women are disproportionately affected by the issues that face the Palestinian refugee and marginalized communities in Lebanon; they have lower self-reported physical health and restricted opportunities to work.  Conservative attitudes again compound this isolation, by creating limited chances to socialize or ‘let off steam’, with social interaction between women being largely restricted to each other’s’ homes. The prevalence of self-reported psychological ill-health is therefore high – around 22% according to a recent report by AUB (Chabaan et al, 2010) – though general stress and malaise is likely felt by many more. Furthermore, the labels placed upon women with expressed psychological difficulties (e.g. ‘crazy’, ‘mad’, ‘stress’) depower women. These labels need to be countered, and awareness of psychological issues needs to be raised in the community

Naba’a Achievements;

During the last three months, the most highlighted achievements are as the followings;

-          Implementing Remedial Education for the Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians those whom are at risk of dropping out of schools and whom are already dropped out of school. Knowing that, 55 out of 300 children returned back to school, where the remaining is still either in preparation of returning back or to be enrolled in a vocational training centers.

-          Establishing girls committee in Naher El Bared Camp, this committee is responsible of tackling the issues related to the violations of women rights and gender discriminations and raised their concerns and problems to the active members and duty bearers.

-          Raising awareness 300 women and 300 adolescent girls about the importance of education, and how much this will protect them from abuse.

-          Providing 800 school children (50% are females) with winter Jackets, children are displaced from Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

-          Conducting two months campaign about breast cancer where more than 2000 women participated in the campaign, knowing that, during the campaign, the women whom are at risk of breast cancer are referred for Mammography to be checked.

-          Aiming to release the stress for the children and their families different outreach and trips were implemented for around 600 children and their parents.  

Case Study for one of the girls who is in need of assistance;

Name; M – T

Marital Status; Married

Family members; 7 children (5 girls – 2 boys)

Nationality; Palestinian Refugee from Syria

Economical Situation;

 The Economical situation is very bad, she was washing dishes in the restaurant, as her husband is not working, in addition she moved to work as a cleaner in one of the shops in the market, where her salary is not satisfied so she left the work, and now they are depending on the NGOs assistance and support.  They live in a very tragic situation where they cannot meet the needs of children or medicines of her husband and son, who suffers from asthma medication he needs to be secured.

Health Status: The woman suffers from anemia and asthma where increased to cough and that the nature of the place in which it is located is full of moisture, as they can live in a comfortable place because of a bad economic situation.

Social situation;

They are living in a very bad situation, where there is no privacy, everyone in the neighborhood knows about the problems that they are suffering from, in addition, due to that their room where they are living doesn’t allow their children to play in a comfortable way this forced the children to play outside the room and in the street and make a lot of problems with their neighbors.

Women's relationship with her husband:

There is no attraction towards him where he became hits and screaming so much they do not like anything because of the dire situation that we have reached. A lot of problems occurred between each other along the day, the husband spent most of his time sleeping, doesn’t care about his children and became uninterested in anything but himself.

Relationship with her children: She started not to take care of her children in a suitable way, everything in her life make her angry and stress, which lead her to beat and hit them, she has a lot of responsibilities and no one beside her. This is badly effected her relation with her children, as the most important issue she is caring of is providing their basic needs and priorities.

The main problem that she is suffering from;

She feels, she lives in a conflict situation, she lost everything she loved suddenly, she always wishing to die and to get rid from this life, but always thinking of her babies and young children.  

The factors that led to worsened the situation:

-          The bad economic situation, which prevents her and her family from buying medicine or meet needs.

-          Marital status that makes them feel depressed all the time and you get problems with her husband and changing in their lives, leading to increasing problems and resort to isolation and escape from reality.

The goal of the case study:

-          Improve women's psychological and make her think more positively

-          Enhance her self-confidence

Steps of intervention:

-          Involving her systematically in parents deal activity

-          Implementation of individual sessions

-          Involving her in awareness sessions

 Recommendations:

-          Continue her involvement of the parent meetings

-          Hold individual sessions for children

-          Continue home visits

Workshop with Parents
Workshop with Parents
I Deal Activity
I Deal Activity
Importance of Education-Parents workshop
Importance of Education-Parents workshop
Trip for children and parents
Trip for children and parents
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Activities with Children
Activities with Children

Background during and after the implementation of the project;

The facts shows  in the physical assessment done by Naba’a team, where it seeks to address some of the sensitive problems faced by both displaced adolescent and young girls who fled from Syria to the Palestinian Refugee camps and those whom are living in the camps. The main problems highlighted as the followings;

  1. The negative effect of the displacement and the difficult circumstances on the young and adolescent girls including girls with disability. 
  2. Risks that facing the adolescent’s girls and young women who fled from Syria to the Palestinian refugee camps and those who are living inside the camps such risks are (Physical and sexual abuse and harassment, early marriage, violence, etc...)
  3. The third problem is that the social and economic conflict occurred among the two communities (Palestinian refugees and Palestinian Syrians and Syrians), particularly among young girls and adolescents.

 

The young females are socialized into a community that suffers from severe socio-economic distress and discrimination. Their socialization is further characterized by the lack of social and physical space in which they can develop their skills and capacities. Moreover, young women particularly in the camps and neglected targeted constitute a vulnerable group among Lebanese community. They are particularly affected by the high unemployment rates and the socio-economic difficulties associated with it. Socio-economic distress has also contribution to an increasing in the number of early marriage. Moreover, most of the displaced families are headed by women, since their men stayed in Syria for different reasons. In normal situations the life of Palestinian women are marginalized and dominated by men and are not enjoying their rights especially the right of participation, so the situation of the Palestinian Syrian women is more worse where they used to stay at homes and are not engaged in the social life. Therefore, in this unstable and gloomy context, their traditional life is changed, as when they displaced to the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are holding their families together under the most difficult and inhumane of circumstances and do so while at increased risk of their safety and well-being risks, such as (Rape, early marriage, women trafficking and abuse, etc…).

 

Naba’a Achievements;

During the last three months, Naba’a focused on empowering the skills of the women, supporting them in their basic needs and psychosocial support, particularly young and adolescent women. Therefore, the most highlighted activities implemented during this period;

o   Enrolling 15 adolescent girls in the vocational training centers, these girls are dropped out of schools and at risk of violence, abuse and early marriage.  The adolescent girls is joining the vocational center for six months, where their skills is enhanced through the follow up of the professional teachers, job counselors, community worker and psychologist.

o   Supporting the reproductive health situation for more than 250 women an, young women and adolescents, through regular drop in clinic and individual counseling at Naba’a center followed up by a gynecologist and psychologist.

o   Providing 15 women and girls with hygiene kit targeting those the most impoverished

o   Implementing two advocacy campaign about the right of displaced and refugee women targeting the popular committees, active members, UNRWA, etc…

o   Implementing open days and recreational activities for the Palestinian refugee and displaced children inside the camps.

Case Study, where Naba’a psychologist follow up;

 

Code: A.W

Age: 32 years old

Sex: Female

Nationality: Syrian

Social Status: Married, has 2 children (Male: 6 years old- Female: 2 years old)

House: Rented

Health Status: Good

The basic problem: Domestic Violence

Kind of Violence:

Physical Abuse

Verbal (Bad words and especially in front of the kids)

Psychological (Demoralize- Not meet the basic needs)

Overview:

She is violated by her husband and even though she keeps silent due to many reasons like: she can’t go to her parents because they can’t afford her in raising the children, she can’t leave her children with the father because she afraid of them, customs and traditions that force her to keep silent and also the bad economic situation.

She was living in Syria with her husband and her kids in a very normal life and good economic situation, but the war forced them coming to Lebanon to live, but they found the life of humiliation, poverty and misery.

First of all they were able to arrange ourselves by finding a small room to live inside but the problem was that the husband didn’t find a job, and that bringing him to become a nervous man creating problems, and not endure the children or anything. He wants the room always clean, quiet and no voice. But that was impossible because the children want to play and watch cartoon. The results was big problems and the wife was confused, she didn’t know if she have to satisfy her husband or satisfy her kids, especially that the husband become yelling and hitting the children in different ways.

The second problem was when the wife forced to go to Syria and here was the major disaster where the husband didn’t ask for her for three days, and she was suspended on the border of Syria and exposed to many problems and even that the husband did not bother to contact her and she called him and he didn’t respond to her calls and in the last time when he answered her she said “What I should do, manage yourself”. When she returned to the house, she found it with chaos state and the children were crying too much, and the father was outside, she asked her son about their father they told her that he was leaving them throughout the day and comes in the evening, she also find their children’s skin is blue because he was hitting them all the time. And when he returned home the wife asked him why he left the children alone? He hits her much. Then he began to roll a Hashish Cigarette in front of the children, which lead her to become crazy and become shouting, so he beats her again and he spits over her face every time she asked him for anything or talking to him. Note that when he got back to the home at night he do now want to see his wife and his children in front of him.

The third problem was that the mother see her husband harassing their daughter. He was tease and touching her body in a strange way where the wife quickly remove the girl from his hands and the father asked her why you take her, she said that she must go to sleep, the mother fears from her husband because he was not endure her, and now he loves her much.

We find that this wife is exposed to violence of all kinds, causing it to break psychologically and physically where he became very emotional toward any word, she cried quickly and frowned she lacked of her weight and looked pale on her face and she became in the last period aggressive where he son told us that she began hit him too.

We notice that the nerve and aggressive transmit to the children by the mother, she emptied what is inside her from feelings, suppression and pressure on her children in a negative way, rather than to find the right solution to the problem.

Interventions:

Individual Counselling session and home visit which assure that her blue skin and interviewing with the son that told us that his father beats him and beats his mother.

Whereas for the third problem we are not sure of the situation, since there is many doubts and we can’t ask the girl due to her age, and may be these allegations is not true and the wife made it because she hates her husband and may be it is the truth. So many home visits should be done in order to get some notes and observations, note that the father now is working to late hour.

The aim of this case study:

Allowing the women to express what is inside  from suppressions and pressures over and that’s through individual counselling sessions one per week in order to relieve those pressures. Also help children through their integration to summer activities

Activities
Activities
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Living in one room
Living in one room

Background during and after the implementation of the project;Three years on, and the Syrian crises continue to get more complicated and vague. Big concerns arise about the needs of the refugees coming from Syria, how to meet these needs and for how long.  The global concerns are related to the humanitarian, economic and social aspects of the Syrian crises, and focus on the people inside Syria and the around four million Syrians and Palestine refugees who have been displaced to neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. On top, there is the concern of the continuous mobility of displaced people as a consequence of the unrelenting unstable conditions.

 

In Lebanon, and by end of 2014, around 1,144,706 Syrian refugees and 45,116 displaced Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) are located. The situation is particularly complicated due to cutback in funds directed towards the Syrian crises, and according to the world bank assessment “By 2014, it is estimated that the Syrian conflict will double the unemployment rate in Lebanon to above 20%, push approximately 170,000 Lebanese into poverty and demand an additional USD $5.1 billion to stabilize access to, and quality of, public services to their pre-Syrian conflict level”.

The needs assessment done by Naba’a at the beginning of 2014,  shows that unemployed youth and adults, female heads of households, children under 18years old with school enrollment challenges, and families with disabilities or at least one chronically ill member are the most vulnerable groups.These four vulnerable groups are derived from the twelve identified categories within PRS, SRS and PRL. In order to decrease the vulnerability of these four groups in specific and the Syrian refugee population in general, basic needs should be met.

Meanwhile it is crucial to continue offering the basic needs particularly for women, children and adolescent girls, in addition to empower their economic and social skills, this will help ensure and facilitate the participation of persons with potentials in the social life and economic growth of their families and communities. This will help improve the livelihood of the target population and offer them a pathway out of vulnerability.

 

Naba’a Achievements;

During the last three months, within Naba’a Women Empowerment Program, we focused on supporting women, young and adolescent girls, through the followings;

-          Reproductive Health which targets the Palestinian refugee living in Lebanon, Palestinian refugee from Syria and displaced Syrians, this includes health checkup and treatment through the follow up of the gynecologist, the nurse and psychologist

-          Providing Hygiene kits for the most marginalized women and girls

-          Raising awareness adolescent girls on how to protect themselves from abuse and disease, particularly in the situation where the sharing rooms and houses.

-          Psychosocial support and individual counseling for women and girls who are living in a very difficult circumstances and at risk of physical and sexual abuse

-          Psycho social and out reach activities for the children whom their household headed families are females and they are living in a separated family.

 

Case Study for one of the girls who is in need of assistance;

 

Name: Bashira

Date of Birth: 1972

Nationality: PRS

Number of family members: 5 including the father and the mother

Home Situation:

The house is a single open room where there are no walls; children and the mother parents slept together, and the outer shell closed by curtains, there is no furniture but only two Sofas, one of them the father slept over and the other for the girl, where the mother and the children sleep on the floor. There is a TV, a fan, a small refrigerator and a small gas. For the bathroom there groundless just a small hole and a small Laundry.

We asked them if they have blankets for heating in the winter, they told us yes but they are not enough also there is no heater, noting that there is no walls in the house to protect them from winter.

Economic Situation:

The family economic situation is very bad, the father does not work because he is sick and cannot move from the mattress. They pay 200,000 for the house because it is rented, they also spend from their UNRWA income which is 350,000 LL. They also pay for the girl's supportive teacher a 50,000 for a teacher's. They always debt in order to live.

Health Situation:

Because of the father's disease, he feels that he is outcast from society as he attempted suicide and attempts that either by eating the things that harm him, he is very nervous and is not trying to get closer to anyone, so his wife describes him that he enclosed himself often does not sit with them and speak with anyone and if he wants anything he screaming or hitting or breaking to aggressive with the boys and especially with the girl.

The mother is a house wife, she didn’t work outside, and she always tries to get any help from the associations and UNRWA in order to live in a better way.

As for the mother relationship with the children is good, and they love her because she provides them their needs.

The boys in the family are youth their ages are 18 and 21 years old, but they are not working, they didn’t find work also they are enclosed themselves. And because of the bad economic situation they didn’t go outside, they stay at home, and that affects their psyches and their social relations, they escape from people in order not to face them and look them in inferior way.

Whereas the girl aged 9 years old, is studying at Al Mintar School at grade 5, she suffers from depression because she didn’t get anything new like her friends or any girl. She wears old clothes and used from others. She needs to wear like any girl and has a privacy like other girls.

Intervention; This family they get hygiene and food assistant from Naba’a, still they suffering from a very bad situation, they feel discriminating from others, as they are rarely go out side their home. So, Naba’a team started to have regular home visits for them and to engage them in different activities particularly the children.

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Girls in the raising awareness workshop
Girls in the raising awareness workshop

Background during and after the implementation of the project; The increase in refugee numbers in Lebanon has vastly exacerbated the needs of girlren and families desperately requiring humanitarian support. More over girlren are in need of psychosocial support and protection.

After having experienced severe armed violence and having to leave their homes, many Syrian refugee girlren and families are in serious need of psychosocial support to be able to cope with their emotions. Although these families have now found a place to stay in Lebanon, most of the refugee girlren are still acutely vulnerable traumatized and at risk.

As for many of them, distress is a product of direct exposure to war-related trauma, challenging family dynamics associated with trauma and displacement, and stressors related to adjusting to life in Lebanon. Parents and other family members exposed to traumatic experiences and showing symptoms associated with stress and trauma are more likely to demonstrate poor parenting, including abuse and neglect in some cases.  Women are disproportionately affected by the issues that face the Palestinian refugee and marginalized communities in Lebanon; they have lower self-reported physical health and restricted opportunities to work.  Conservative attitudes again compound this isolation, by creating limited chances to socialize or ‘let off steam’, with social interaction between women being largely restricted to each other’s’ homes.

The conditions for women and girls in the camps are of particular concern. Conservative attitudes mean that many women are excluded from public life and suffer restricted social spaces and employment opportunities, meaning that they make up just 13% of the workforce. Similarly, girls complain of having few places to socialise or express themselves, and suffer crowded school classes where physical/verbal abuse is rife. Youth therefore grow up in an environment whether there are high levels of violence, and where their emotional, physical and psychological needs are often not met and their rights are violated.

 

Naba’a Achievements;

During the last three months, Naba’a focused on the project which is matching the Gender Mainstreaming, as its targeting Female-Headed Households and the most marginalized adolescents and neglected females according to two facts ;

-          Female-Headed Households are one of the most marginalized groups because they are not supported by breadwinners.

-          In the Syrian culture women are usually side lined especially among the refugees who come from Damascus.  And due to the fact that it’s a male-orientated society, it’s usually men who are advantaged by emergency responses. Therefore, the most highlighted activities implemented during this period;

o   Raising awareness 150 adolescent girls on how to protect themselves from abuse and on Self-esteem.

o   Raising awareness women and adolescent on how to protect themselves from transmitted disease, particularly they are sharing toilets and bathrooms.

o   Providing 25 women and girls with Pajama and Underwear targeting those the most impoverished

 

Case Study for one of the girls who is in need of assistance;

 

Age: 17 years
Nationality: Displaced Palestinian from Syria

School: Dropout of school

Family members: 4 members

Background: the girl lives with her mother, brother and sister in one room in grandfather’s home, since two years when girl’s parents were divorce.

Economic situation: the economic situation is very bad, since girl’s father doesn’t cover the cost of living, so the family depends on girl’s brother work that he doesn’t complete the 18 years old; also they depends on financial support from other organization in Ramadan month.

This bad economic situation appears on the girl’s look since she refuses to go out with her friends because she can’t cover the cost of picnic, and she rarely changes her clothes, in addition the girl cant buys any new things especially her needs as a teenager like shampoo and privacy things.

Social situation: 
The relation between girl and her mother: there is a good relationship between mother and the girl, the mother is very close to her daughter and she talks to her always, also the mother goes with the girl whatever she wants.
The relation between the girl and her father: the relation between the girl and her father is very bad, she doesn’t see him always especially in this stage.
The relation between the girl and her sister: the relation between them is good and they spend lots of their time together.

The relation between the girl and her brother: the relation between them not good since there are many fights between them and he doesn’t let her go outside home.

The relation between the girl and her friends: her friends complain always that the girl's voice is very loud, and she uses her hands to beats them, in addition she doesn’t respect her friends' opinion; lastly the girl prefers to be friend with boys more than girls.

The main problem: 

Violence:  The girl was exposed to violence from her father before the girl's parents were divorce, and the neighbors always intervene to solve the fight. girl's mother mention that the father drinks alcohol and play lottery always and when he comes back to home at night he beats his daughters, and she also mention that in one time the girl went onto a hospital when she was 12 years old
in addition when the girl was 14 years old the father betakes that if he lose in lottery he will merry his daughter to the winner. All this situation lead to let the mother and her 2 daughters leave the home at midnight.
this  situation not changed after the  divorce since the father calls to take his daughter to clean the home of her stepmother and the girl has to do and clean the home well, and she not allowed to reply of insults that the girl exposed, in addition the father gave the authority for the girl’s brother to control the family.
Intervention:
1.persuasion the brother to merge his sister in vocational training program in Nabaa Organization, but he refuses first time but after efforts he agreed, he mention that Nabaa would take and comeback the girl to her home.
2. Involve the girl in psychology and social activities like “she deals"
3.involve the girl in entertainment activity.
4. Involve the girl in listening session with psychologist.
5. Give the girl kit support like hygiene kit

Results of intervention:
The behavior of the girl changed like she became respect her friend's opinion, also she listened to them and participate with them.
Recommendations:
Follow the girl's psychological, and involve her in more activities.

Raising Awareness
Raising Awareness
Displaced Girls
Displaced Girls
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Organization Information

Developmental Action without Borders/Naba'a

Location: Saida, South - Lebanon
Website:
Project Leader:
Qassem Saad
Saida, South Lebanon
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