CATCH – Creative Arts for Change

Through creativity we can change the situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

 

 


 

 

 

61 million people are right now fleeing from war, persecution and poverty. In vulnerable situations affected by violence and uncertainty, existing power and gender structures are growing stronger. In areas of Lebanon where people who have fled from Syria now live, the situation is getting more and more acute as physical, mental and sexual violence against girls and women are constantly increasing. This is why, Clowns Without Borders Sweden together with Beirut DC and Clown Me In are starting  the two-year project “Creative ArTs for CHange”.

Together, Clowns Without Borders Sweden and Clown Me In (Beirut DC) will train Syrian and Lebanese people with a background in art, culture and social work. They will be given new tools and methods to apply when leading group workshops for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In these workshops, Syrian girls, women, boys and men, will be invited in separate groups to express themselves in a safe space, to create understanding for others and get psychosocial support through creative art forms. The project is being carried out with financial support from the Swedish development assistance via the Swedish Institute.

“We are living one of the worst and biggest crisis in the world, a project like this one would open a space for us to come together, to listen and to act. The need is big in Lebanon and around the world and we all need to act right now,” says Sabine Choucair, co-founder of Clown Me In at Beirut DC.

“Creative ArTs for CHange” starts in April 2017. The first of two 5-6 weeks’ group leadership trainings take place in August-September, and then the weekly exercises for refugees starts in October 2017.

 

Trash Treasures

Well summer is here and we have been celebrating by spending time at the seaside!

This thursday we all went to the beach for a relaxing time hanging out in the sun and swimming in the sea. But this was no ordinary beach! This was a beach in beautiful Lebanon! And this was no ordinary sea either, it was a sea full of beautiful of treasures!

We clowns couldn’t believe our luck when we emerged from the water COVERED in wonderful treasures! Fishing nets, empty packets of crisps, water bottles, plastic bags, diapers and the list goes on. We were so pleased that we decided to go straight from the beach to the Ministry of Environment in Beirut to thank the ministers personally for everything they have done!

 

In reality we are of course appalled by this environmental tragedy that seems to have no end in sight. We were at the ministry of environment taking part in a sit in organised by a group entitled ‘صحة ولادنا خط أحمر‘ which was started by four women who are fed up with a government not taking the health of their children and people seriously. They organised the sit in, with an open invitation for anyone to attend, and spoke about the very serious health and environmental concerns related to the irresponsible disposal of garbage.

 

As clowns, we took part in this protest in our own way, sitting down completely covered in trash on our return from the beach. The highlight of the event was taking a picture with an official member of the ministry who was very happy to greet us and didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact we were covered in trash.

3 questions to help you live a purposeful life

Paolo Gallo, Chief People & Culture Officer, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum Geneva has written this beautiful article to help us all to live a happy and purposeful life. Read it here.

He also did a great Ted x Lausanne talk entitled The Compass of Success where he talks a bit about the work we do:

 

Thank you Paolo for everything you do!

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