Project SHINE and Project MUSIC – Reports on Weeks 1 and 2

Project SHINE and Project MUSIC – Reports on Weeks 1 and 2

Our first two weeks of Project SHINE and Project MUSIC are officially complete! Our group of 25 LEAP volunteers along with volunteers from our partner organization, Beit Atfal Assumoud (BAS), have completed their first two weeks of instruction, impacting over 600 students in Bourj el Shamale and Rashidieh refugee camps in Tyre, Lebanon.

Here is a roundup of our first two weeks:

Project SHINE:

Project SHINE volunteers spend each morning teaching English followed by recreational activities such as Dabke, Photography, Martial Arts, Theatre and more.

In the classroom, our students have been working hard these first two weeks to learn about environmental issues, analyzing solutions to environmental challenges, as well as identifying barriers to those solutions. Students gave speeches, made posters and wrote essays about critical environmental issues in their community such as water conservation, energy  shortages, and pollution.

In recreational activities, students have been writing beautiful poetry inspired by Ghassan Kanafani, creating colorful confetti-art, producing comedic skits, sharing new Dabke moves, and capturing powerful photos!

Each Friday, our vibrant group of students and volunteers get to kick back and celebrate all of their hard work. So far, we’ve enjoyed trips to the Fun Fair (amusement park) and have hosted movie screenings in both camps!

Here is our volunteer Nada in action during her art class!

Project MUSIC:

Our inaugural weeks of Project MUSIC (Music In The Camps)  welcomed almost 150 students ranging in ages from 6-18! While some students are more experienced musicians, most are just beginning their musical journey with LEAP! Our Project MUSIC volunteers, along with a talented group of musicians from Bourj el Shemale, will be supporting students to improve their music education and understanding with the hopes of helping grow the burgeoning Bourj el Shamale Camp orchestra. We are also excited to welcome volunteers from Expressive Arts Refuge in the coming week, who will work alongside our volunteers.

Students are learning how to read music and rhythms, basic music theory, and other essentials. They are also improving upon basic techniques and mechanics, while gaining new choral and instrumental skills. Students will be mainly learning how to play violin, guitar, oud, recorder, and singing.

Our music group is actively preparing for the end of the program celebration where they will debut their improved musical skills to their fellow classmates, families, and community.

Project MUSIC volunteer Nashwa working with her student, Adnan, during her intermediate strings class

Community Project

LEAP’s two-fold mission equally emphasizes the responsibility of our volunteers both inside and outside the classroom. This year, our volunteers are supporting BAS complete a critical community project which aims to archive and document Palestinian history and customs through the creation of a cookbook.  Each week our team will visit elders living in both camps who fled Palestine in 1948. The goal is to spend time learning about their personal narratives all while learning about traditional Palestinian foods which will be published as a means of remembering and documenting Palestinian refugee history.

Here is our Bourj el Shamale team visiting El Hajjah Um Shehab, learning how to make “Bourghal wa Bandora” (bulgur and tomatoes). El Hajjah Um Shehab fled Palestine with her family when she was 8 years old and has been living most of her life in Bourj el Shamale camp.


El Hajjah Um Shehab preparing the Bourghal wa Bandora


Deep thanks and endless appreciation to all of our supporters and donors. None of our work would be possible without your encouragement and commitment to refugee youth empowerment and their right to education.

Please continue to support our grassroots, volunteer efforts by making a tax-deductible donation today.

Donate Here.

With love and solidarity,

Basma Eid
Program Director

Jackson Gzehoviak
Education Director

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LEAP Program

LEAP is a grassroots volunteer program established to provide educational empowerment projects to support the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of refugee-youth in Lebanon so they may become agents of change. As an apolitical humanitarian US-based organization, LEAP aims to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinian refugees in general, but particularly in Lebanon, to American volunteers.

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