The Unite Lebanon Youth Project began a project called Social Support Society in 2006. The Society seeks to create a nurturing, supportive environment for the elderly Palestinians living inside refugee camps in Lebanon. Located in both Burj al Barajneh and Nahr el Bared and founded by Melek Nimr, the center gets the elderly together to cook and prepare meals, make art and handicrafts, prepare and sell their own jams, organize local competitions and more, creating an environment that encourages growth, activity and a sense of community.
For many of the elderly living within the refugee camps, these centers have become like an oasis — a place where they can escape some of the roughness of the daily environments in the camps and retreat to something that inspires and empowers them. Now active members of the community say that the center has come to mean so much to them, granting them close friendships, a wonderful support group and a sense of belonging. The Social Support Society also encourages a bridging of the age gap by having some of the elderly go visit university campuses in the area to speak to them about their experiences, history, traditions and the richness of their Palestinian heritage.
Recently, the Society has also began programs that seek to creative similar outlets for support for both children, teenagers and young adults. The Social Support Society seeks to provide a sense of hope, relief, friendship community and connectivity within all generations of these Palestinian refugees who reside in Lebanon’s refugee camps. To donate to the SSS, supporting social support systems and outlets for hope, visit here.
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