There is emerging evidence that violence experienced early in life can have a long-lasting detrimental impact on health, life skills, competencies, attitudes and beliefs. Research has shown that besides creating child-friendly spaces through kindergartens and schools, the way parents deal with their children is the single most important thing to child development. Consequently a child-friendly and safe family/home situation is crucial for healthy development.
In Shatila parents live (and grew up themselves) under difficult circumstances; in poverty, with high unemployment, suffering from (inherited) trauma and due to the camp’s overpopulation experiencing little to no privacy, even at home. There’s a lack of safe spaces for women and girls where they can express themselves freely, develop friendships, social networks and engage with mentors to seek advice from a supportive environment. Parents in general are stressed, overwhelmed and have no mental space to fulfill their important role in child development. Based on the above, there was a need to start a parent-focused project, to work towards the home as a safe space for children and parents alike.