March 22, 2015 | Melika Al-Kawas
In September 2014, I traveled to Lebanon to deliver a $30,000 check to the American University of Beirut (AUB) Foundation that was going to build washing facilities in the Syrian refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley.
I wanted to go to one of the refugee camps to see where these facilities would be built and how they would work. It turned out that our $30,000 would be able to provide much more than a couple of bathrooms.
When I arrived at the camp, I found a fully functioning school. It had 4 classrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a kitchen. We observed children being taught in their classrooms. The classrooms were complete with desks and whiteboards; and the teachers were terrific. We took many pictures of the kids who were laughing and smiling -- behaving like children anywhere. The school provides meals and snacks to the children at the camp.
The camp itself was a very depressing sight. Families are living in canvas tents, with little real protection from the elements. I don’t think there is very much medical care available. The tents are located very close to each other.
The school the U.N. provided was also just a canvas tent. As a result, we decided to use our donation to build a school with bathroom and kitchen facilities for a refugee camp and we are hopeful to build another before the end of the year. Our hope is to do our best to help the children who are living in the camps get an education and some good nutrition.
Anyone who wants to to join us in that mission is very welcome. You can go to our donations page and donate to this effort.
Picture of one of the schools at the camp. This is similar to the school that the SAWA-collected donations will build.
The SAWA brunch that was held in December 2014 generated $5,000 of donations that will go toward this cause.