The Will of Life Breaks Prison Bars

09 October 2017
Nimer Nimer, Manager of Insan Centre, Burj Barajneh camp, Lebanon.  © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Firas Abo Aloul

In 2014, a group of young people living in Burj Barajneh camp decided not to surrender to the prison of drugs and turned an old prison building into a drug rehab centre for addicts to help them build a bright future and embark on a new life, full of hope.

Nimr Nimr talks with sparkling eyes about the centre, called Insan, or human. He says: “We do not deal with addicts but rather with patients who need our help and the support of specialists. I cannot describe the joy and happiness we feel when one of our brothers overcomes this plight and goes back to normal life.”

A tiny tour inside the centre will allow you to see the different medical and sports sections, and the workshop where patients receive arts and crafts courses and make beautiful and creative designs. 

The workshop at Insan Centre where patients receive arts and crafts courses and make beautiful and creative designs – Burj Barajneh camp, Lebanon. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Tarek el-Salhani
The workshop at Insan Centre where patients receive arts and crafts courses and make beautiful and creative designs – Burj Barajneh camp, Lebanon. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Tarek el-Salhani

Patients spend their time participating in the various activities and benefit, at the same time, from specialized treatments and care services; all free of charge. 

Said (name changed) is living in the centre and seeking to overcome his addiction. He explains: “Drugs are a catastrophe that hit me hard. But, thank God, I overcame them. This centre helped me face my problems and stop taking drugs. It changed my whole life.”

The centre can host up to 20 persons and welcomes persons of all nationalities without discrimination, including Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese. Anyone who needs treatment can find it here.

Insan does not content itself with providing treatment for addicts but also organizes awareness campaigns for the local community and supports post-rehab social integration through the provision of soft loans for patients who have successfully finished their treatment.

The centre is financed by donor parties and people of good will and is planning to expand its services to include children suffering from drug addiction.

Insan is indeed a great initiative that turns the page to new beginnings full of hope despite all the hardships that Palestine refugees continue to face in Lebanon.

Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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