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Support Network

And so I fell off the blogpost wagon, but with one week left of IamResilience Lebanon, I want to share a few words, particularly on the topic of support. Volunteers I gave a short and informal presentation about IamR’s current work to Lebanese youth organisation LoYAC, after a friend, Suad Amin-Jarrar, put me in touch to potentially invite more volunteers to help in the second cycle of works….

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Because you’re worth it!

Well into our second work cycle of IamResilience Lebanon with creative-therapeutic workshops starting again tomorrow, taking onboard participant feedback (children and parents alike) to build on the work we have already began. This last week has been preparatory bit and pieces, from fishing more volunteers out (we’ve two and potentially more coming onboard), finding ways to share this pilot project’s experiences with others (talking presentations, publications and training) as well as meeting…

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Unleashing the End!

The end of the first work cycle of IamResilience- five weeks from 26th May to 27th June- and due to begin again from Monday 28th July for another five weeks. There’s so much to say, and yet, as I sit surrounded by my case notes and archive of photographs and film recordings, I can only feel the tiredness piled from weeks of Go-go-go! This blogpost isn’t an overview of…

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A dance

This week has seen the IamResience project work settle into mini-routines and rituals, as workers and camp residents alike have grown more accustomed to one another, and we continue to find ways of working with one another. The children know which sessions they belong to, gathering into groups of three with relative ease: the two original groups of 7-9 and 10-12 years, and we have also incorporated the…

Baby steps…

Last week saw our first set of workshops for IamResilience, and the word I opened by first day’s notes with was: chaos! The main issue we have contended with at the camp has been the lack of a sufficient space to run the creative-therapeutic sessions in. We are working on the second floor of a semi-built house, in a ‘room’ with no doors or windows. On two occasions,…

Photo by Hussein Soueidan

Two-way Resilience

Since my arrival into Beirut, I have had two site visits to the Syrian refugee camp in the south (between Saida and Sur/ Tire and Sidon) and some major ‘tweaks’ to the current project plan. Feeling positive and excited to start workshops this Monday, though with bouts of on-the-ground reality, I’ve had moments of doubt. Recalling historian Lesley Hazelton‘s TED talk, on the doubt essential to faith (be it…

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a different seedling

I can’t say that setting-up Meryna has not been a lifetime dream. I worked freelance for different organisations, on projects that relate to most of Meryna’s Guiding Objectives, with no ambitions to set-up an organisation of any kind. I’m not a natural leader (whatever that might mean!), coordinator or even, administrator- there’s a drama every year with my own dreaded Tax Return form, which I blame on a…

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Meryna combines different art mediums, from drawing and writing to drama and music, to facilitate artistic expression, dialogue and experimentation. The creative arts can allow us to be present in-the-moment, to energetically focus on a particular task, which can help build trust for authentic dialogue, beyond a conceptual or/and intellectual debate. Games and exercises are selected depending on the specific objective of a workshop and project, be this…

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Meryna draws on the theoretical concepts of Gestalt Psychotherapy, as well as other modalities that feed into drama and art therapy, to structure workshop sessions. This practically involves developing good ‘contact’ functions- such as listening, tasting, touching, feeling, expressing curiosities and thoughts- with a focus on an in-the-moment dialogic process. As humanistic practises, for example, Gestalt therapy, there is an assumed belief in innate human health and creativity,…

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Interculturism relates to interactions involving, or representing, people of different cultures.  So how we personally perceive and respond to such perceived difference is at the heart of intercultural work. Differences can include interacting with people of different religious, ethnic or national heritage, as well as those of multi-heritage. We include those belonging to different social groups, professional or sexual orientation. Meryna invites participants to define themselves according to whatever…