Syria Regional Refugee Response - Lebanon 2017
Community Center Against Child Labour
Saadnayel, Bekaa Region, Lebanon 2017
Design & implementation:
Khaled Alwarea, Hady Abi Abdallah, & Zena El Abdallah
NGO: Beyond Association
Donors: LIONS Club Norway
Timescale: 5 month
Land Area: 3925 m2
The center built is composed of six wooden structures and includes six classrooms, a multipurpose space, an administration office, a covered playground, and gardens. The construction design considered sustainable and environmental standards while also ensuring accessibility to children and adults with disabilities.
The UV Lab team working on this project composed of Khaled, Hady Abi Abdallah, and Zeina Abdallah, expanding on the previous projects designed, organized, and built the center while training members of the community both Syrian and Lebanese who implemented the construction.
The center is considered one of a kind in the region especially given the services provided in support from the Lebanese Ministry of Labour, the International Labour Organization (ILO), BYOND, and through funding from the LIONS Club Norway. Among the provided services are alternative education for working children as part of the SCREAM (for the rights of children) program, regional programs specific to working children conducted through the ILO, and capacity building to front line workers in non-governmental (NGO) and CSO workers for dealing with the worst types of child labor. Additionally, both Syrian and Lebanese children in the area benefit from the programs.
What characterizes this center is the incorporation of community spaces in the design. Each of the six structures has a garden and terrace of its own, and the space connecting all six structures is covered sheltering it from the elements; additionally, at the center is a 120m2 space providing a safe community zone for working children and adults alike.
The most important of which was engaging and training the local refugee and host community members in the design and construction of sustainable structures that incorporate environmental, humane, and aesthetic values. For refugee children living in plastic and fabric tents, schools are often the only opportunity and space to alleviate the negative impact of displacement, and so it is important for these spaces to have environmental and aesthetic qualities that tin pre-fabricated structures do not really allow for.