Burj El Barajneh camp
Burj El Barajneh camp, located in the southern suburbs of Beirut, near Beirut International Airport, was established by the League of Red Cross Societies in 1948 to accommodate refugees who fled from the Galilee in northern Palestine.
Burj El Barajneh camp accommodates today more than 17,945 registered refugees.
Bourj El Barajneh
Kifah Shehadeh studied at Bourj El Barajneh GKCF Early Childhood Center starting 1974, the same year of its foundation. GKCF kindergarten was the first kindergarten established in Burj El Barajneh camp for Palestinian refugees and it was the very first kindergarten established by the GKCF.
Kifah was very excited about going to the kindergarten, it looked lovely! There was a lot of playing, dancing, singing, painting, going out, exploring. Many good memories are still in her mind, bringing her joy: Kifah remembers the kindergarten very well; she was mostly attracted by the wooden chairs that they used, and the classrooms. The multipurpose room had special vibes, and she loved to hang around in there since children were free to do whatever they wanted – drawing, singing, dancing, playing.
After she finished her years at kindergarten, she kept participating in the summer activities organized by the kindergarten. Kifah then attended UNRWA school and studied Arabic literature in college. When she finished her studies in 1993, she got a phone call from a friend who was working at the GKCF Center in Burj El Barajneh, offering her a job as teacher assistant. In 1996, she participated in an art workshops organized by the GKCF and she became an art teacher. She is, since then, working as art teacher at the GKCF Early Childhood Center in Burj El Barajneh.
“I am in love with colors and children. I try to give the children the same joy and education I received from the GKCF when I was a student. I have been offered many working opportunities in other kindergartens, but I simply cannot end my story with GKCF. I follow my heart.” Kifah Shehadeh, Art Teacher
In 1982, the kindergarten was due to change its premises as the original building was destroyed during the Israeli invasion. The kindergarten survived indeed through several wars thanks to its dedicated staff who took care of the equipment and furniture, moving them from one place another. The new building was a one-story building consisting of one classroom accommodating 25-30 children. Over the years the building added floors and classrooms. Today, the kindergarten is able to accommodate around 60 children in 3 classrooms. It has a wide multipurpose room. The staff is composed of 1 supervisor, 3 teachers, 1 art teacher, 2 assistants, and 1 caretaker.
Burj El Barajneh GKCF kindergarten offers to children several activities, such as art workshops, storytelling, dance and rhythmic, puppetry and drama, as well as science. It also organizes summer activities for older children (age 7-12) and has a youth club.
How we are supporting Burj El Barajneh GKCF kindergarten:
We will rehabilitate the playground located on the roof-top of the kindergarten building. We will offer refresher and training courses for GKCF teachers, as well as art workshop and summer camps for children.