Children's activities

Exhibition project

In 2011, Karama ran a cultural project that aimed to describe the camp from our children's point of view. We regularly invited small groups of our children to show what is important in their lives via photos, drawings and paintings, which were later displayed in an exhibition. The cultural project aimed to teach others about the experiences, thoughts and feelings of Palestinian refugee children. It is a creative way to stimulate children and help them to express their history and present time.

Chess club

In 2009 Karama was proud to set up a chess club for the children. Four times a week it was opened, permitting the children to develop their strategic thinking skills. All 20 children and volunteers participating took part in several chess competitions. Due to the great succes of the chess club, many more children came to Karama, wanting to take their chance!

Karama on TV

In July 2005 the children of Karama were live on SH TV. This local television channel dedicated a program of two hours on Karama's children. They spoke about the organization, the activities and what it means for them. Furthermore, they sang songs in front of the camera.

Mathematics Classes

The unsatisfactory education situation in Deheishe's schools leads to shortfalls in many subjects, particularly in mathematics. Most of the classes are overcrowded (45 students average), so that teachers are not able to take special care for students who cannot follow the lesson. That is why the Palestinian student Wa'el offered voluntarily mathematics assistance courses several times a week. He used to teach two boys' courses, a group of young girls as well as girls attending already High-School. In special cases he also gave additional private lessons.

Karama's Journal

On 26 November 2004 the children of Karama published their first journal. Before, 9 boys and girls had been working hard on the content, the lay-out and the structure, as well as on the practical management of the publication and distribution of the journals. Every member of Karama had the opportunity to write what he or she wanted to share. They wrote articles themselves and they searched the Internet for interesting stories, poems, pictures and more to publish in the journal. Every month, a new edition came out, containing a small quiz with a small prize for its winner! The journal was distributed by the Karama children to the children of the Deheishe and Bethlehem areas.

Preventive lessons

In cooperation with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Karama started preventive lessons in August 2003 which were held on a weekly basis. After playing games with the children, a psychologist and a teacher hold discussions with them about certain topics e.g. smoking and violence. Afterwards, the children were stimulated to deal with the topic in a creative way e.g. by drawing or painting. This project was very popular amongst the children and received great acceptance.

Music activities

In April 2003, Karama increased its music activities with the help of a professional music teacher . The aim was to establish a Palestinian music group, Jokah, that would especially play and sing Arabic music. The children were given the possibility of trying different instruments in order to be later able to specialize in a single one. The instruments were all borrowed as we lacked the financial resources to purchase our own instruments. This music project was strongly appreciated by the children.

Friday Afternoons for children by children

The living conditions of Deheishe refugee camp, and in particular the lack of space to play, renders the life of its children difficult. Moreover, as 70 procent of the population is unemployed, parents often lack the resources to give their children toys, materials to paint, books et cetera. This leaves them without space and materials to develop their skills and to play. Therefore, each Friday afternoon our older Karama children used to organize afternoon activities for the younger children of Deheishe. 4 to 6 year olds were invited to the Karama Center to play, to sing, to dance, to paint, to draw, to laugh... For this occasion Karama purchased lego, colouring pencils, miniature toy cars and other kinds of small toys, that were nevertheless of great value for the children, as this was the only opportunity for them to play with these materials. Our older Karama children also set up activities to entertain there little guests with. They taught them how to dance, how to draw or they gave them Arabic and even English lessons. These English lessons were for many of the guest children the first ones they received in their young lives!

English lessons

In February 2003, Karama started activities for about 30 children by giving them English classes several times a week. These lessons serve as a good complement to the insufficient teaching in the camp's schools.They are also a good way to distract children from the stressful situation they live in. The objective is to facilitate international contacts and provide this generation of Palestinian refugee children with better options at universities and in professional life. Our Swedish volunteer Nina Gren gave lessons for four months. After she had returned to Sweden, young Palestinians from the camp who have already good English skills took over her role. Today, English lessons are given by our international volunteers, depending on who is volunteering with us at the time.

Computer Lessons

Karama has helped - and continues to do so - hundreds of boys and girls in having acces to computers by:

  • providing free Internet acces at the Karama center.
  • offering computer lessons.

During two months Karama offered many computer lessons, taught by Rabab Marwan. These lessons included:

  • 1 course for boys and girls (10-13 years old) 4 hours a week.
  • 1 course for students (13-15 years old) 5 hours a week.
  • 1 course for women to teach them how work with a computer, 3 hours a week.
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