Located in southern Beirut, Shatila camp, an area of 1.5 square kilometers, is now home to approximately 23,000 people. Initially, this refugee camp was set up for Palestinians, fleeing their country during the 1948 war. After 2011, the camp has seen an influx of thousands of Syrian refugees escaping the ongoing conflict in their own country.
According to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Lebanon hosts 12 refugee camps in total, howeverShatila seems to be well-known due its harsh living conditions. Environmental and health conditions in this refugee camp are reported to be extremely bad. Shelters are often overcrowded, lack basic infrastructure and security measures. Dangling electric wires, open drains and an overloaded sewerage system are the norms here.
SB OverSeas works on the ground in Lebanon to provide education, empowerment and aid to displaced people fleeing conflict. One of the SB schools is located within the proximity of the Shatila camp and provides education to its inhabitants. SB runs a Volunteer Programme which allows young people to teach English in its catch-up schools and have the opportunity to help SB OverSeas with its mission of helping those displaced people in need.
One of SB OverSeas volunteer, Barney, wrote about his experiences in Shatila camp: “From the west-facing windows of SB Overseas’ apartment for Lebanon volunteers in Beirut, you can survey the jumbled sprawl of the Shatila refugee camp, between the school and the sea..” Read the full story here.