The worries of a teenager should be simple, school, homework and friends. However, not all teenagers are blessed with such a simple life.
For the refugee children in Akkar, it is not that simple. They have to wake up at 4 am. Go to work in the field for three to four hours, attend classes, go back to the field and come home at 7 pm to study and sleep. All that while facing many challenges and different forms of violence.
With the support of World Vision US and World Vision in Lebanon, 966 vulnerable refugee girls and boys age 8 to 14 are provided with life skills and Psycho-Social Support to protect themselves from violence.
“I think it is important to know my rights”, says Marwan, 14. Besides learning about his rights during the psycho-social support sessions, Marwan enjoys attending the sessions to play with his friends and to learn new information every time.
Dirzi, who is 14, thankfully never experienced the consequences that might occur if he talks to strangers. “After attending the sessions, and hearing the different stories my friends knew about bad things that happened to other children, I understood why I should never talk to anyone on the street, yet get in a car with them”, he declares.
“I get the right for an education”, states Mhammad, 12, proudly when asked about what is the most important child rights in his opinion. “All children should have access to an education so they grow and have a future”, he adds.
For Noura, 13, knowing her duties is as essential as knowing her rights. “All children should learn about their rights and duties so they become good adults”, Noura says.
Houbous, 13, is happy with the sessions because she knows her opinion matters. “Here they give you a space to talk and they hear you”, she claims. In addition, she is also interested in learning about the different forms of violence and abuse.
“I never thought about what violence is, or that neglect might be harmful”, Marwa, 13, explains. “Thanks to the sessions I learned about bullying and that violence can be verbal and physical”, she tells.
As for Anfal, who is also 13, he likes to attend the sessions to get together with his friends, “I like to come here to play with my friends and learn with Ms. Sandy new information every time”, he states.