a helping hand

Two girls in a classroom looking a pictures

what's shorkk's response?

We want to lend a helping hand to a Palestinian NGO, Najdeh Association, in Lebanon. We heard about their work from Sania, a friend in Beirut. I was lucky enough to have met her in a classroom at the British Council in Beirut. Since she started working with Najdeh Association we’ve learnt about their work championing the rights of Palestinian women and children in Lebanon. We hope you agree that the work Sania contributes to is worth supporting. 

what does the najdeh association do?

Set up in 1978, as a secular organisation, the Najdeh Association has 29 centres throughout Lebanon. Based near Palestinian camps, for ease of access by the community, they are definitely not a “charity” handing out money and turning their back. Najdeh’s programmes are designed to support the most marginalised in the community, mostly women and children, for the long term. Their work educating women and girls on their civil rights as well as their rights in relation to domestic abuse, is essential. 

a girl with some orange scissors cutting up pictures in a classroom in Shatilla camp
children in the classroom colouring in

how do they feel about the situation in Gaza?

There’s an overwhelming feeling of sadness among those who attend the educational support programmes at the centre. Some stay away, but those who come, even children, spend hours watching powerful images of the events on social media. For many this recalls what happened in Palestine in 1948, when they were forced out of their homes. With the help of the centre’s psychologists, they are able to talk through their emotions and trauma.  

life in Shatilla camp

Life in Shatilla camp is well below acceptable living standards. The scene of a horrendous massacre in 1982, when the Israelis invaded Lebanon, its conditions are hard to bear. Cramped, with no sunlight, no fresh air, the Lebanese government provide no electricity or no running water. Instead they are forced to draw water from wells, which is salty. While this might do for washing, just, in order to drink and cook water has to be bought – at great expense. 

two teenage girls designing a piece of artwork in the classroom of Shatilla camp
a shot of a street in the Palestinian camp of Shatilla in Beirut

your help

As Sania says, the Palestinians in the camps feel helpless. They need justice, just once in their lives. While Lebanon has been hit by an economic crisis of monumental proportions, we are keen for those in the UK to see the whole picture of Lebanon, and the Palestinians there are a part of this picture. As a socially minded business, shorkk is about giving a helping hand.

With your help, shorkk can donate 15% of all online purchases until 2nd November to Najdeh Association so that they can buy much needed classroom equipment for their educational programmes. 

photo credits: These were kindly provided by Benedetta Onnis, who as part of her research for her doctorate on Palestinian handicrafts, volunteered during the summer of 2023. She worked in Shatilla, and as part of their summer programme introduced the medium of collage. 

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