Training 11 participants up tofacilitatorlevel in the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon, 2020/2021.
Report by Michelle MacDonald
Location: The participants were teachers at the two educational centres (primary school level) run by the Jusoor organization, located in the Bekaa valley, which is home to a large Syrian refugee community.
Number of participants: The teachers (6 male+ 5 female) were Syrian refugees themselves living either in the camps or nearby.
My ICDP (face – to- face) sessions with this group started in 2020 but had to be interrupted due to the Covid situation- schools having closed their doors- and were only resumed(via Zoom) in April 2021, after I had moved back to the UK. Apart from the online sessions we formed an ICDP WhatsApp group in order to share insights, feedback on home tasks etc., particularly when the live sessions were not possible.
The problems faced by a displaced population, added to the intrinsic problems of a failing host state (Lebanon). Covid was the last straw to an already deteriorating situation. This posed many challenges with delivering the ICDP training. Power outages and Wi-Fi interruptions resulted in sessions being cancelled at the last minute and then rescheduled only to encounter the same problem again. In spite of the numerous hurdles, the training (12 sessions) was successfully completed.
The feedback from the teachers was very positive in spite of all the difficulties. They were grateful for the opportunity that the ICDP training gave them to express themselves in a safe environment. They were able to share their worries, their everyday challenges of constantly having to adapt to changing circumstances, to the deep changes in their way of life since leaving their country, but they also talked about their successes and their resilience. They discussed the impact this has had on their values, traditions, on the changing role of women and how this has affected parental roles and interaction with their children. They reflected on their roles as teachers and shared their insights within the group. They explored together ways they could make some changes in the classroom and gave each other positive feedback. They were very keen to start delivering the ICDP training at caregiver level to the parents of the children they teach, and in fact 2 new groups have already been started. During my 4 years of working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, I formed 17 facilitators (who are linked to SOS Children’s Villages and Jusoor) and 63 participants at caregiver level.