Bilal is a 13 year old Palestinian boy, who has lived for his entire life in Bourj Al-Barajneh camp, in the south of Beirut. He, along with 20 of his peers, has been given the opportunity to improve his basketball skills in collaboration with the American Community School of Beirut (ACS). Bilal is enthusiastic and excited about the new game and skills he is learning, and says he looks forward to the Sunday session for the whole week. 2 student basketball experts from ACS, supported by ULYP, are generously volunteering their time and skills to work on this project, and the students will improve their basketball skills and general physical fitness, as well as increasing their self-confidence and making new friends along the way!
For Bilal and his friends, this is the first ever experience of playing basketball, and although a little nervous during the first session, they soon learnt the basic rules and principles of the game, and their enthusiasm has blossomed. Each weekend, they work on specific skills, tactics, and rules through doing tailored activities, before splitting into teams and playing real basketball games. Their excitement and enjoyment at learning a new skill, especially in the well-equipped surroundings of ACS, is great for us to see, and really highlights the positive impact of ULYP’s work in the lives of young people in Lebanon, and especially children like Bilal, who otherwise do not have access to sports and recreation in a safe and nurturing environment. We are very grateful to ACS for allowing us access to their facilities, and to our volunteers for sparing their time and skills for this group of very enthusiastic students!
Here at ULYP, we really believe that all children have the right to safe, encouraging and nurturing recreational facilities and activities. In the future, we would love to run our ‘Play for Peace’ program on a much bigger scale, with many more than the current 20 students! For this reason, we are currently fundraising to build our very own basketball court at our campus in Dibbeyeh, which could be used for basketball, martial arts, as well as improving motor skills for young children. We would be incredibly grateful if you could take 5 minutes to visit our Just Giving page, and help us on the way to this dream with however much or little you can give. Thank you.
Photo courtesy of Maya Hautefeuille