IBBY-Yamada 2010: Palestine

Workshops for Palestinian children in Lebanese refuge camps

This five-day workshop aimed at introducing librarians and facilitators to strategies that promote reading among children and therefore alleviate some of the traumatic effects of their situation.  There was a large drop-out rate amongst the children due to their impoverished families, in 2009 the school drop-out rate reached 18%, furthermore there is little hope for the children as they grow older: the unemployment rate in the camps was estimated to be between 48 and 60%. The results showed that the trainers and librarians felt much more empowered to promote reading thanks to the new techniques they had learned.  They also realised that reading promotion can be included in any activity and it did not need sophisticated technology, most importantly they realised the importance it can make to the children's, and their own, lives.  There was a strong plea for future workshops!