2018 AUB Alumni Summer Program
This July, the Center for Civic Engagement & Community Service (CCECS) and Alumni Relations at the American University of Beirut (AUB) invited Help Syria's Kids and (25) of the Syrian refugee children from Ketermaya, Chouf to participate in a peer-to-peer project spanning two weeks at the American University of Beirut campus. This brought together AUB alumni children from North American to engage in cultural discussions and storytelling exchanges with Syrian refugee children of Ketermaya. This was an absolute dream opportunity and we could not have been more grateful to realize this for these kids.
The objective was to provide space for peers to develop cultural understanding and create lasting friendships that go beyond the program. Being on the ground with our partners at AUB bridged many more relationships and partners to help the Syrian refugee children and families of Ketermaya.
School and Community Center
Help Syria’s Kids is working with American University in Beirut (AUB) to realize an informal learning center at the Syrian Refugee camp in Ketermaya. The team at AUB has won many international awards for design and function of the Ghata Project, including the SXSW 2018 Design Award and has tremendous experience in all phases of design and implementation.
This Center will allow more children to learn on a consistent basis, preparing them to catch up with their peers in public school systems. Young women will have a safe space to build community and help transform their lives through women's health sessions, child care, skills training and opportunities to earn income.
You can donate today to help us realize this transformative opportunity for the Syrian refugee families and children living at Ketermaya.
Food and Basic Hygiene Supplies
As a result of generous donations, multiple deliveries of food and basic hygiene supplies have been provided for 58 Syrian refugee families living in Ketermaya over the past 12 months. Food packages include dry goods as well as produce, whole chickens & meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt and canned food items. Hygiene needs such as cleaning supplies, soap, toothpaste, diapers for infants & toddlers and sanitary needs for women and teen girls.
Hudson Ketermaya Connection
Hudson, NY has become a beacon for other American cities by expressing love to Syrian refugee children, supporting a path to transform their lives.
A "pen-pal” program between children of Hudson and children living in Ketermaya has been established to nurture the reading and writing skills of both communities while inspiring their well-being through the development of friendship.
The first connection through a video call introduced the children of Hudson and Ketermaya in June of 2017. The children discovered quickly that they share a common love for sports, dance, singing songs and even enjoy some of the same foods. Hudson students sent a group letter by post reinforcing their enthusiasm to be connected with their new friends across the world. Each child in the 5th grade at the Montgomery C. Smith Hudson Intermediate School wrote introduction letters to the children in Ketermaya. The Ketermaya children worked with volunteers from AUB (American University of Beirut) to craft responses to their letters. AUB students translated these letters written in Arabic, into English. Translated letters will go back and forth between the children each quarter of the school year.
TOUCHING LETTERS, DRAWINGS AND BOOKS...
from the Montgomery C. Smith 5th grade students were hand carried to Lebanon and translated to Arabic for the children. Colorful friendship bracelets with (HKC - insignia - Hudson Ketermaya Connection) hand-made by the 5th grade at MCS Intermediate School were also delivered with love.
Hudson First Presbyterian Church
Ongoing donations have provided many food and other supplies and needs for the Syrian Refugee Camp in Ketermaya.
In April 2017, 134 School supply packages of writing paper, coloring books, whiteboard tablets, pens and pencils & crayons and markers were purchased by generous donors and interfaith friends and neighbors. Tote bags donated by a New York City children's manufacturer held the supplies and were hand delivered with love to the children in Ketermaya by a parishioner of the First Presbyterian Church of Hudson.
Hudson Muslim Youth
Hudson has made a connection between it's Muslim youth and the Syrian refugee children in Ketermaya, Lebanon. Handmade "Eid" Ramadan cards were created by the Hudson Muslim Youth at the Hudson Community Library and mailed by post to the children in Ketermaya. Receiving words of hope, peace, unconditional love and dreams of some day meeting their Muslim brothers and sisters in Lebanon touched the hearts of these children, 6,000 miles away. Crafted hand-made Ramadan cards were created by the Syrian refugee children in April of 2018 and hand carried to Hudson, NY for the Hudson Muslim Youth, delivered at the Ramadan celebration at Hudson Lodge May 26th 2018.
More Community Donations
Hudson City Library donated boxes of books to support english language education.
Waldorf dolls and warm hats knitted + hand made from the Hawthorne Valley School in the Hudson Valley were gifted to the children.
Sox and friendship pins from the Won Dharma Center in Claverack, NY; the children loved them!
Tiny-books from Kite's Nest students were hand-made and delivered in person.
Imagine Workshop and Concert Series Workshops - Lebanese American University (LAU)
Through partnership with the Imagine Workshop and Concert Series (IWCS) founded by Seba Ali, professor at LAU an incredible opportunity to provide music, sound and color workshops on a frequent basis throughout the academic year at LAU. Famous guest musicians travel from all over the world to collaborate and perform with students at LAU, on their residency these musicians along with the leaders of IWCS travel to Ketermaya to hold workshops with the children providing transformative and healing experiences with the children.
Seba Ali holds a Bachelor of Music from Cairo Conservatory, a Professional Performance Certificate from Lynn Conservatory, Master’s of Music and Doctor of Music Arts from Stony Brook University.