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Welcome to June's Newsletter!

Thank you for subscribing to our monthly newsletter, we hope you like our new format. We aim to keep you updated about our work, activities, and ways that you can help. Please feel free to share our newsletter, join our activities, or donate by clicking the button below. 
Donate to help us protect the children

Himaya at the LEGO foundation with UNHCR 

The LEGO Foundation and UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, partnered to host a training in Billund, Denmark for various child protection agencies earlier this month. The LEGO Foundation and its members were the main facilitators of the 3-day training, taking place in the conference room of Hotel LEGO Land from May 5th – May 7th. With a total of 8 participants, attendees ranged from himaya, to the Lebanese Ministry of Education, and Save the Children.

With the aim to encourage the creative minds of youth and to foster playful experiences and supportive relationships, the LEGO Foundation and UNHCR partnered to create this project to provide Syrian refugee and underprivileged children with DUPLO bricks despite living in displacement. Additionally, to create a safe space for them to learn through play, adhering to the Human Rights declaration of children’s rights to development and play. himaya’s child protection specialist thoroughly enjoyed their time at this training and cannot wait to continue with these efforts and this project!

Thank you Virgin Megastore! 

We would like to thank Virgin Megastore for supporting Himaya during the month of May. The Virgin team ran the Beirut Run Forward Womens Race for a cause and raised awareness about child abuse by selling the "Prevent Child Abuse" bracelets in all their branches. 

Himaya at the second World Congress on Resilience

Himaya attended the Second World Congress on Resilience in Timisoara, Romania from May 8th – May 10th. An international event, which was organized by the deans of West University of Timisoara, along with an international scientific committee, departmental directors, professors, and other professionals. Three members of the Himaya team were in attendance. The congress was split up into sessions in the morning and a number of workshops in the afternoon, each surrounding a different topic or idea regarding psychological resilience.

Prior to the conference, Himaya was a part of a collaborative research project surrounding the protection and risk factors of Syrian refugee children, with Cristina Castelli and researchers from the Catholic University of Milan. The project itself consisted of a number of art therapy workshops that were translated into quantitative data and questionnaires, measuring the effects of war trauma, the presence of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), and resilience in children. Being that the majority of refugees have witnessed very intense traumas, from a death in the family, to massacres, or both – the research showed that the population is at risk and they do have higher rates of PTSD. Several articles will be released in the near future surrounding this research and the data that was gathered.

Attending this event proved very valuable for Himaya, for it gathered the foremost researchers in the field and provided us with the most current knowledge in regards to resilience. The conference opened up new perspectives and possibilities for future projects, providing further insight to what resilience is, what it can be, and how it’s understood.

Notable speakers included Mr. Boris Cyrulnik, a French doctor, ethnologist, neurologist, psychiatrist and resilience specialist, who is known for explaining and developing the concept of resilience; he was one of the keynote speakers. Additionally, Cristina Castelli, psychoanalyst whom Himaya worked with, Sir Michael Rutter, a top leader in child psychiatry, and members from UNESCO.

The Story of Rima

Rima, a 17-year-old girl, was sexually abused by her father every day after returning home from school or work. Her father prohibited her from having any form of documentation related to her well-being and he confiscated all documents that would allow her to escape living with him. She constantly lived in fear, living under strict rules and never knowing when her father might come after her when not at home. She maintained a side "job" which she would go to for a few hours every day after school. Her parents were divorced and she did not see her mother on a regular basis, as she lived in another city. 

Rima saw an ad for Himaya and contacted us through our online helpline while at work, since she could not risk doing so at home. We assessed her case immediately and met with her at her place of work, where we discussed her situation and possible solutions, along with contacting her mother. After realizing the urgency of the case at hand, we contacted UPEL (Union pour la Protection de l'Enfance au Liban). Immediately following the meeting with Rima, within 24 hours she was placed in an institution for abused children. The police arrested her father and he has been in jail since action was taken to remove Rima from such a horrific lifestyle. Following meetings with a judge and finalizing various paperwork in order to ensure her safety, Rima was transferred to live with her mother. Himaya continues to work with her on her recovery, having at-home meetings with her as well as providing her with the resources to restart her life! 
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Account in the name of: Association Himaya
Bank: Banque Libano Francaise
Branch: Accaoui
Account # USD: 016351066003840
IBAN USD: LB12001000000016351066003840

Account # LBP: 016351066003422
IBAN LBP: LB46001000000016351066003422

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