More than 1 million Syrian refugees have become stranded in Lebanon. Some of them have lost everything. The Akkar district in the North of Lebanon is itself the poorest region of the country and has been neglected by international assistance for many years. Today, it shelters the highest percentage of refugees in Lebanon. The poorest are welcoming the poor.
With the help of more than 850 individual donors, we opened in 2013 the Peace Center in Bkarzla, a small village next to the district capital Halba. The Akkar is a mixed region where a Sunni majority lives side by side with Christians and Alawis. In this region, family ties have crossed the Syrian border for many years. It is the ideal place to create a model that could also work inside Syria.
Our Peace Center welcomes the youth of different confessions and groups, both Syrian and Lebanese. We chose a building in a safe, natural setting to give traumatized children and adolescents the possibility to rest. In our Peace Center, they are receiving psychosocial, educational support, as well as material assistance.
As a peace building initiative, we are politically neutral and not affiliated to any government or party. However we are not neutral in our values. We are pushing for an inclusive peace, based on democracy and human rights. For ourselves, we adopt the principles of nonviolent action, but we do not judge those who are fighting in defense of their beloved.
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