Hygiene Kits for Active Girls in Lebanon
In impoverished communities across Lebanon, refugees and local residents struggle to meet their most basic daily needs.
Roughly 70 percent of refugees from Syria regularly need humanitarian aid after their displacement to Lebanon. With winter approaching, families have the additional burden of worrying about the threat of illnesses, which can spread easily and quickly with poor refugee camp sanitation.
That’s why a Johnson & Johnson shipment of thousands of donated hygiene items has come just in time. The good quality body wash, shampoo, lotions and soaps are a great help in encouraging families to maintain good hygiene and fend off sickness.
Anera distributed the items throughout northern Lebanon, where temperatures are coldest and refugee camp sanitation conditions are dire. Youth participating in Anera sports activities were the recipients.
Refugee Girl Athletes Find Good Use for Hygiene Kits
Solafa Rahhal, a 16-year-old Palestinian living in Nahr El Bared camp, was glad to get her package. She just started participating in Anera’s aerobics class in Nahr El Bared. Her mother is the main breadwinner for the family, making a modest income of $10 per day that barely supports the family of seven.
“I love the aerobics class,” exclaimed Solafa. “It’s new, fun activity. And now I have nice soap for washing afterwards!” After leaving school in grade six, Solafa spent much of her time staying at home until she enrolled in aerobics. “It’s the first time I’ve taken a class like this, and I’m so happy!”
Aerobics class is "a fun, new activity," said Solafa. "And now I have nice soap for washing afterwards!"
Solafa is one of thousands of out-of-school youth Anera is reaching with sporting activities and personal hygiene items. Aside from equipping young people with a variety of athletic and life skills, Anera works to spread messages of healthy habits in tough socio-economic conditions.
Doaa Al Saqqa from Homs, Syria is another young athlete who received hygiene items. The 15-year-old participates in Anera’s football-for-girls course in Bhannine village, Akkar. “I am very thankful for the opportunity to play,” said Doaa.
After reaching the fifth grade in Syria, Doaa fled to Lebanon with four of her siblings. One sibling died in the war. Since she cannot go to formal schools anymore, she takes Anera’s literacy and math classes along with the football course. “I did not know how to play well but I am learning,” said Doaa. “I am very happy here. I dream of becoming a famous player."
Communities Come Together in Northern Lebanon
In addition to the regular sports trainings and activities, Anera and partners organize inter-communal sports events that promote the health and well-being of young men and women, and also encourage social cohesion among the different communities and ethnic groups in Lebanon.
“We met many Syrians through football and made good friends with them,” said Batoul Ghizzawi, a 14-year-old Lebanese girl. “We hang out together all the time.”
Over 18,000 hygiene items were distributed as part of this program to improve refugee camp sanitation through personal hygiene. Now that girls have tools to keep clean and be active, there are no excuses to stay at home.