Sunday, 21 October 2012

Askar Refugee Camp

How can you imagine living as one of over 12,000 people living in a refugee camp less than 800 square metres? This is the prospect for many older and younger Palestinians. They all looked cheerful but told us that they simply needed to have more space for their growing families.

We met the Committee who function as the municipality for the camp. They interact with UNWRA (the UN agency which provides health and education in the camps) and other authorities.

The committee are making strong efforts to provide stimulating activities for the children and young people in the camp. They support arts, cultural and play opportunities.

So we saw a large garden park with slides, swings and play equipment alongside a building funded by the Germans which can be used in a variety of ways. Today it was set out for a wedding party - such events providing employment for up to 20 camp residents.

The off to Dar Al Funoun centre for the arts where we saw a short film and a dabke (dancing) demonstration which 2 of us could not resist joining.

The centre also offers ceramics, painting and other arts in an attempt to provide stimulation for the camp children. They also try to promote Human Rights through arts.

They are very keen to explore twinning options with others.

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