World Refugee Day 2014

Friday 20 June 2014

Syrian and Egyptian children celebrate the end of day two of a five day workshop on coexistence 

(Photo credit: Meg Pruce / Save the Children)


World Refugee Day 2014 

Integrating Syrians in Greater Cairo, Egypt


To mark World Refugee Day 2014, Save the Children Egypt is celebrating peaceful coexistence between refugees and the Egyptian community, which is central to our humanitarian work in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Across all of our programmes, community integration is a vital part of Save the Children Egypt’s approach when developing our activities. Syrian families are living side-by-side with their Egyptian neighbours, therefore our activities target not only refugees but also the host community to encourage people to live and work peacefully together. For many Syrian children, integration is an extra challenge as they are not enrolled in local schools and often stay at home rather than playing outside on the streets.

To help tackle these issues, Save the Children, in partnership with the Selmiyah Movement, organised coexistence workshops in three of our Child Friendly Spaces across Greater Cairo which took place throughout early June 2014.  Each workshop lasted for five days and gave Syrian and Egyptian children aged 8-14 the opportunity to explore key aspects of coexistence – team-building, group participation – within the safe environment of the Space. The central idea was for children to develop their own mini-city (“Our City”, or “Madenatona” in Arabic) within the Child Friendly Space, which included writing its constitution and collectively agreeing on the core social values.  Activities focused on different aspects of social interaction such as the media, where children were able to produce their own articles, photographs and social media. Other sessions included expression through drawing, singing, dancing and acting, as well as exploring other cultures through the travel-focussed “Safarni” session. The children were given the freedom to choose the activities they would like to take part in.