Finding peace through art

By Dominique Monera-Tabora, World Vision

“I saw too many people without limbs or heads in houses after every airstrike in Aleppo. When I am painting, I am able to forget those haunting images”, Mouayad Alabed says as his eyes brim with tears.

Like Mouayad, his younger brother Ali was so traumatised by what he witnessed in Aleppo that he now has difficulty speaking. Ali’s mother recalls that Ali was a fluent speaker before the war happened in Syria. Ali and his brother Hesham, the 4th son in a family of seven, find comfort in drawing and painting while in Azraq refugee camp.

Mouayad's early works in oil reveals the trauma that he had been through.

The whole family, from the father Ibrahim, the eldest son Mouayad and the youngest son Hesham paints to bring life and colour in the community centres and shelters in Azraq Refugee Camp.

Under the guidance of their older brother Mouayad, Ali and Hesham draw how children can help segregate solid waste in their homes and neighboring refugee shelters.

The younger brothers are currently illustrating how children can participate in the Sustainable Food for Refugees through environmentally sustainable solid waste management project funded by the European Union and World Vision International.

“As a child focused organization, it is only fitting that children are engaged through art, puppet shows and musical activities in the camp”, says Hasmik Kocharyan, Project Manager of the Solid Waste Management project.

Three hundred fifty-four refugees are currently working as community mobilisers and sorters in the Green Centre of the solid waste management project. The income that the volunteers get from the project provides extra food for their families. The Green Centre operated by World Vision and funded by the European Union recovers recyclable materials from almost 25 tons of solid waste collected daily from more than 36,000 Syrian refugees in Azraq.

In line with the International Day for Peace, the Sustainable Food Security for refugees through Environmentally Responsible Solid Waste Management Project conducted art and musical events to share the message on peace and change behaviours on waste segregation.