As Syrian households continue to endure miserable life conditions lacking shelter, food, and medicine, affording entertainment has turned into luxury. In such environment, children mostly forget leisure activities that empower and redirect their behavior. Certainly, entertainment is an essential corrective and educational tool that affects children’s lives, shapes their social skills, broadens their experiences, and maintains their psychological well-being by supporting their personal resilience against traumatic incidents.
Amid the country’s overwhelming plight, scarcity of play parks seems normal since infrastructure, schools, roads, and social facilities have become targets to repeated arbitrary shelling. Shattered and afflicted households put food and shelter on top of their priorities and usually strive to afford them consistently.
Thereof, “Beyaz Eller organization” has sought to put smiles on children’s faces and bring hope to their hearts by establishing leisure parks in Idlib countryside, supported by “Al Khayr team of Kuwait”. The project included setting up entertainment zones for play groups during Eid and ceremonies to support the children’s well-being amid a seven-year protracted ordeal that inflicted them with life-altering horrors.
The project activities have varied to meet different entertainment needs; setting up leisure zones for play groups, distributing toys, and organizing entertainment activities and games. Our aim was to please children’s hearts and take them slightly away from wartime setting that has been imposed on them.
Our field team toured the leisure park seeing children’s joyful play and smiles as hope and delight sights substituted grief and sadness.
A five-year old girl has overflowed the air with delight as her elder sister spoke to us: “It is her first time to see and play in leisure parks. She was born during the war and we had no place for toys. We used to move from one place to another whenever safety concerns arise around where we live”
One of the mothers have let her children play and enjoy the park said: “When my four children knew you would set up a leisure park, their happiness and delight were indescribable. They started readying to go to and enjoy the day with friends and now they spend the dearest of their time playing here”
Entertainment has an essential and decisive role in raising up children, improving their skills, empowering their self-confidence, and creating the sense of challenge, resilience and persistence to help them overcome grieve, pain, and fear. Playing and entertainment are the children’s breathing room that unburdens their souls and returns hope and smile to their lives. In times of war, it has the greatest and the most direct impact towards their psychological well-being.