Learning a life skill is important for children. From decision-making to independent thinking, problem-solving and socialising, World Vision is teaching children through weekly sessions the importance of taking a decision, expressing emotions and more.
In Bent Jbeil and Marjyoun, South of Lebanon, more than 20 children are attending the weekly sessions excited to meet with their friends to play and learn at the same time.
"We learned how to calm down when we get mad", Kevin 10, says. Through the life skills sessions, the children understand their emotions and feelings. In addition to emotions, children are learning about bullying. "It is not nice to bully others, and we should inform adults if someone bullies us", he adds. His favourite activity was when one time they asked them to close their eyes, and think about the most important thing to us "we all wrote "family", it is the most important thing in life", he states proudly.
Talia, who is nine, learned how to count and breathe to calm down. "They also taught us bullying might lead to suicide, therefore we should inform adults because we should not tolerate this", she explains. "We learned the right and wrong stuff", Talia adds. The children learned to talk about their emotions, and that they should not hide them. "It is fine to speak and express our emotions even If we are angry. As long as we do not harm the others" she clarifies.
Nine-year-old Yasmina has a new way to calm down, "When I feel stressed or not happy I bring a balloon. Fill it with flour or rice and that way it becomes like a stress ball", she explains amused. During the sessions, Yasmina and her friends enjoyed knowing about the rights of the children, "I think going to school is the most important right", she says.
Martin, 10, liked attending the sessions "I loved the new activities every time", he explains. Before the sessions, Martin knew that bullying and going out by himself or talking to strangers are wrong, but never understood why, "I never thought about how bad bullying might get and to what It may lead, also going out alone, a car might hit us", he declares
Rania, 15, spend her days during the summer vacation at home helping her mother with the chores. When she heard about the life skills sessions at the centre In her village, she was excited, "we learned how to confront the things that are annoying us like bullying", she says. Before the sessions, Rania knew a little bit about abuse and violence, "thanks to the sessions I learned the different forms of violence". In addition, she learned how to be a good listener, especially with her parents, "When I listen to others I can understand clearly what they want", she adds.
Jawad, 12, learned during the sessions how self-esteem could get high and low. Moreover, he loved knowing that he should not give up when he faces a problem and try again. "We learned from our problems and I love to learn new information," he declares. As someone bullied before, Jawad liked to attend the sessions to know how to deal with bullies.
"We must not tolerate bullies", explains Karim who is 10. With his friends, Karim learned about different topics related to child protection and life skills, "I know more about violence now, and how it affects the wellbeing of the child", he affirms.