Social Development in the Palestinian Camps


The initiative sought mainly to overcome the problems resulting from the children’s loss of their parents and families as a result of the siege of the camp and the massacre carried out by some militias and the Israeli army, respectively in 1976, and 1982. Chief among these problems was the deterioration of the financial and living conditions of the children.

The initiative aimed at developing the marginalized Palestinian community in Lebanon by tending to the orphaned children and to reintegrate them in their local community, especially through schooling and providing them with dignified existence. The initiative aimed as well to confront the consequences of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre by helping to maintain the cohesion and continuity of the Palestinian family. This was made possible by developing a new mechanism to identify foster parents for the parentless children and to help them improve their financial conditions as a prelude to overall social care of the family. The families were devastated and dispersed by way of various tragedies, including murder, kidnapping and house demolition.

The project managed to save the lives of refugees, including the children surviving the devastation in Tal al-Za`atar, Jisr al-Basha, Sabra and Shatila Camps. This is not considered only as social benefit, but also as an article of heroism on the part of people living under bombardment and siege.

With the end of the Lebanese Civil War, social and economic problems emerged as priorities. In the field of social work, NISCVT social/cultural centers increased to ten in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Social production of education, in cooperation with NGOs, also crystallized in the provision of preschool education, a level that UNRWA does not provide.

As for health services, specialized programs were set for treatment and health awareness. Women assumed important roles in projects such as producing environmental-friendly foodstuffs, traditional embroidery, etc. These also involved the social production of culture by people who did not surrender to population transfer and war, nor to its consequent devastation.

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