Project Amal ou Salam’s workshops provide open dialogue, giving the kids a safe space to tackle the issues that they face and develop their own ideas and visions for the future of Syria. These workshops include the following:
Art – Children participate in activities such as Rebuild Your Town, where they are asked to think about their hometowns and the many places and people they will need in these rebuilt communities, and Peace Flags, where children paint flags depicting what peace means to them. This introduces children to creative expression, self expression, critical thinking, and teamwork.
Sports – Children play team sports and take part in collaborative and active games. This is a positive energy outlet and team-building activity, and a lot of fun!
Health & Hygiene – The purpose of this workshop is to promote a peaceful well-being, support children in being physically healthy, emotionally stable, and learning able. Children are taught how to properly brush their teeth and wash their hands. They learn how to manage stress; they learn about basic emotions and self-control through deep breathing and simple yoga techniques.
Music – Children are introduced to rhythm and beat using the body and voices to produce music without instruments. This encourages creative self-expression, self-confidence, and listening skills.
Photography – Children are given digital cameras and asked to take pictures of their surroundings. This workshop teaches fundamental use of digital media, gives lessons in perspective, depth, and framing, and introduces the children to concepts like empathy and emotional awareness.
Project Amal ou Salam has supported over 6,000 children in four different countries, aided by more than 100 volunteers from around the world.
Here are some of the reflections from volunteers who have joined us at our workshops:
I was heartbroken by many things I saw on the workshop days, from kids with battle wounds (both physical disabilities and obvious emotional trauma), to the fact that many children did not want to eat their lunches as they were determined to save them for family members …. I can say after having seen this first-hand that there is hope for the future if educational, recreational and therapeutic programs such as this one continue to be supported. – Genny, American living in Amsterdam
The biggest blessing of this work is the happiness you find yourself creating on the children’s faces. Their grins and eagerness to give you hugs and kisses and thanks – with occasional whispers of “this is the most fun I’ve had since leaving Syria” or even “this has been the best day of my life” – is truly the greatest reward that we could ask for. Keep spreading the love! – Grace, Syrian living in Dubai
Especially looking at a world where conflict exists globally it was inspiring to be part of a group that has no political or religious agenda and simply wants to inspire hope and spread a positive message, which is truly refreshing. –Sandrine, Living in Geneva
In addition to these longer workshops, Project Amal ou Salam supports various informal activities for Syrian children. We have supported activities in Idlib, Syria; sent school and art supplies to a refugee camp in Ersal, Lebanon; held a gymnastics workshop in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan; and hosted Eid celebrations in Surouj, Turkey, for Kurdish refugees recently arrived from Kobani, Syria.