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Palestinian and Lebanese children demand dignity for all at Italy-funded games
6 May 2012
Thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian children throughout Lebanon today jointly braved a marathon in support of human dignity.
Some 2000 children in Saida and 800 in Ba’albeck took part in the Vivicitta (Revive the City) marathon, running side-by-side in a spirit of sportsmanship.
The event, organised by UNRWA with the Italian organisation Sport Per Tutti (Sport for All), or UISP, marked the culmination of a series of sporting events that have given hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese children the chance to play together and build bridges between their communities.
Dignity through sports
UNRWA in Lebanon
Around 455,000 refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, with many living in the country’s 12 refugee camps. Palestine refugees make up an estimated ten per cent of Lebanon, a small country which is now densely populated.
Palestine refugees in Lebanon do not enjoy several basic human rights. As they are not formally citizens of another state, they are not able to claim the same rights as other foreigners living and working in Lebanon, including the right to work in as many as 20 professions.
UNRWA’s “Dignity for All” project, funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office (ECHO), aims to change mutual perceptions between the Lebanese and Palestine refugee communities in Lebanon.
The project has one key message: Palestinians are refugees in Lebanon, but they deserve to live in dignity until a just solution to their plight is found.
For more information about UNRWA’s work in Lebanon, click here.
The Italian government and UNRWA
This year, the Italian government has made possible a number of UNRWA’s projects in Lebanon, including the rehabilition of playgrounds in the Dbayeh and Shatila camps in Beirut and the construction of a gym in Rashidieh (Tyre).
In addition, the Italian Region of Puglia rehabilitated the sports area in El Buss camp (Tyre), the Municipality of Rome funded the rehabilitation of the playground in Ein El Hillweh camp (Saida), and the Italian Association UISP Sport Per Tutti rehabilitated the playground of Beddawi camp (Tripoli).
For further information, please contact Hoda Samra, UNRWA Public information officer in Lebanon:
+961-70-010129 fax: +961-1-840468 or by e-mail: [email protected].
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