Two years ago, after taking young Palestinians on typical outings–pools, fairs, playgrounds–Lina Khoury had a brainwave. “Why do those kids have to leave the camp to live their childhoods? Why don’t we create a beautiful space inside the camp where they can play every day and not have to wait their one turn per month to go on a trip?” With this inspiration, Kahkaha was born.
While it was tough to convince funders that playgrounds should be a camp priority, Khoury says the biggest challenge was lack of space. Bourj el Barajneh’s one square kilometer, for example, holds 28,000 residents. The radical solution? Play on roofs. So far three playgrounds have been built–one in Sabra and Shatilla and two in Bourj al-Barajneh–to serve over 1,000 kids. Now that the third playground–this one a garden on the ground–is complete, the funding drive is on for a fourth in Naher el Bared.
Kahkaha means “laughter” in Arabic, and its results live up to its name. “Every time we finish a playground, there’s a huge satisfaction we cannot explain,” Khoury beams. “We are giving Palestinian kids the opportunity to play in a safe environment like any other normal kids. We are returning to each child his right to play safely.”
For more info – http://projectkahkaha.blogspot.com/