10 August 2011
The Lebanese Red Cross youth department, Dahieh Center, in coordination with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Near East (UNRWA), held an iftar meal to break the Ramadan fast at the Active Ageing House (AAH) in Burj Barajneh Palestine refugee camp in Beirut.
More than 45 elders of the AAH, 12 Lebanese Red Cross volunteers and UNRWA representatives took part in the iftar.
Ms Ayya Ghassani, vice-president of Dahieh Center youth department, said: “We emphasise spreading the Red Cross’ seven fundamental principles (humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, universality). This activity aims to create a spirit of coexistence between different communities and age groups with emphasis on the principle of dignity; it is a right as it is the duty of the various individuals."
Volunteers of the Lebanese Red Cross and members of the Active Ageing House participated in the preparation of the iftar. Participants enjoyed the games and activities, awaiting the call to prayer and then they all shared a delicious iftar together. The activity concluded with words of thanks and memorial photos that emphasized the beauty of coexistence and respect.
The visit also came within the framework of the "Dignity for All" programme, funded by the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department, ECHO, which aims to change the perceptions between both the Lebanese people and the Palestinian communities by mainly raising awareness and highlighting the positive aspects that everybody should build on.
Established in 2005, the AAH in Burj Al Barajneh Camp helps to strengthen the social support of the elderly. The AAH provides awareness sessions for the elderly to improve their quality of life through discussions and activities with volunteers, such as doctors and sociologists on topics including, diabetes, high blood pressure, and healthy eating. The team also teaches the elderly how to stay involved within the “active life” of the community. The elderly at the centre engage in various outings and visits, and invite others to interact with them, such as folk dance groups or children from various centres.
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