Re-build develops innovative and ecological projects in its efforts to help rebuild better lives for internally displaced people and refugees.
Re-build, which came into being in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, has focused its efforts to develop creative, ecological and sustainable projects for the reconstruction of war-torn areas in Syria.
An estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of the civil war in March 2011, taking refuge in neighbouring countries or within Syria itself. While 4.8 million have fled to Syria’s immediate neighbours Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey, 6.5 million are internally displaced within the country. Meanwhile, more than 150,000 Syrians have declared asylum in the European Union countries. Providing humanitarian assistance and protection for Syrian refugees is among the responsibilities of states under international human rights law. Countless human rights and aid organisations in the UK and outside provide further assistance to help Syrian refugees to re-establish their lives.
Re-build aims to support these initiatives by helping Syrian people to reconstruct their lives in their home countries. In addition to providing basic services regarding protection, food, shelter, health and education, we aim to develop innovative projects targeting vulnerable groups within Syria. Our first international project concerns north-eastern Syria, in particular the municipalities of Kobanê and Cizire. We work in partnership with the local administration and other NGOs working in the region, while utilising the skills and experiences of the local inhabitants. We have made it our mission to work within our sustainability framework wherever possible.
Below are a list of projects Re-build has been working on:
Re-build conducts a new project ‘Small Touches, Big Lives’ which focuses on social integration of refugee children into British society. Rather than following the traditional methods, we assist children by way of arts and crafts, recreational activities with an innovative approach. This project focuses on the Hackney borough of London. It is conducted in a partnership with Hanover Housing Association, which is a retirement home in Hackney.
The project includes weekly visits of refugee children to the retirement home. During their visits, children participate with the residents of the retirement home in the arts and crafts, recreational activities such as paper marbling, photography, origami, puppet making, acting, and gardening. Refugee children and elderly people learn, produce and have fun together. Their works of arts are exhibited in our events. Thus, children strengthen their helping behaviors, socialization, sense of belonging and positive sharing with British community as well as they break social isolation of elderly people and enhance their mental health. The activities and their common productions enable them to increase their self-esteem and self-worth. Social cohesion and integration can be promoted through these intergenerational activities.
This project has been made possible by a £ 9,900.00 grant from Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Our first project is to build an ecological primary school in the municipality of Kobanê and equip it with all the necessary resources. The school will act as a welcoming core of the community, not only providing children with a safe, fun and fair place to learn and reach their potentials; but also offering its facilities to the wider community.
Following months of conflict in Kobanê, between September 2014 and January 2015, more than 80% of the town has been destroyed and needs to be rebuilt for the town’s residents to return to their homes and carry on with their lives. The town of 525,000 inhabitants has been turned into rubble- so the task of reconstruction is immense. We are coordinating our project in close contact with the Kobane Reconstruction Board, who is coordinating the local and international reconstruction efforts. Re-build was also present at the Reconstruction of Kobane conference, held in Diyarbakir, in May 2015.
The eco-school will have a capacity of around 300 children aged 6-10.
The 21090 square metre grounds (length 222m, width 95m) consists of three key buildings:
The main school
Including an inviting reception, 14 classrooms, unisex and accessible toilets, an assembly hall, a library/ resource centre, a staff room, a welfare room, 3 smaller multipurpose rooms, and a worship/spirituality zone. The building is in a circular format with circulation wrapping around the exterior, and with classrooms overlook an open air central courtyard playground. An emergency safety shelter will lie directly underneath the playground.
The sports hall
A simple, flexible space with a variety of uses; indoor sports, the performing arts, indoor dining, and an evening community events/workshop space.
The creative & practical centre
A creative workshop for arts, technology, design and self-expression is joined to the kitchen overlooking the farm. Children learn practical agricultural skills such as caring for farm animals, growing fruit and vegetables, harvesting food, preparing food, and cooking.
The school will be built mainly from sun dried adobe bricks: a cheap, local, organic and robust material with great thermal qualities, and will involve the community in the construction process. Natural light and ventilation systems will be used throughout, and areas of the roof will be green. Our aim is to use renewable energies and harvest rainwater in order to become a self sufficient school.
We are building an ecological playground in the Cizire Canton, Rojava, North Eastern Syria. The Cizire canton hosts over 300 thousand refugees and internally displaces people and this number is increasing by the day. In these thousands of IDPs and refugees there is a large Ezidi population who have fled and managed to escape the atrocities of ISIS. The children in Cizire have no recourse to psycho-social support and assistance and there is a lack of children-friendly spaces. Hence we decided to build a playground there.
The building work will start in March 2017 and will be part of a 6066 square meter park (length 82,50 and width 68,5).
The whole park-playground area will be sub-divided into five sectors including:
- Amenities zone
- Amphitheater zone
- Playground zone
- Fitness zone
- Interactive playground zone
The park will contain a jogging-walking track that would loop around the park, dividing it into 4 sectors and one centralized zone. The centralized zone would be an interactive hill that children could slide, roll, climb up the hill for entertainment. Furthermore, the first sector would be the amenity zone which contains public toilets and some selling carriages such as food and ice-cream for children. The second would be an amphitheater which could either host events or could be used as a centralised gathering zone for the families. Third would be the fitness area which would be as an outdoor gym that targets the teenagers and the elder generation. And finally the playground area which is mainly for young children will contain around 15-20 games and host around 50 children 2-3 per game. Recyclable and ecological materials will be used in the construction of the playground.
Re-build develops projects for refugees within the UK aiming to empower them and provide psychological support.
We provide digital and alternative photography workshops which focuses on portrait and landscape photography. After learning basic techniques, the participants practice taking photos and review them with the tutor at the end of the workshop. Through these exercises during the art projects, they have a chance to reflect on their own lives, experiences, and problems. And the alternative photography workshops are hands-on creative activities, which also teach historic photographic processes. By alternative photography workshops, the participants will experiment and enjoy creating equipment for image capturing. These workshops will be available to service users aged 7 plus.
Most materials are recycled such as shoe boxes, leaves/plants, cups, food, generally everyday objects. Hands-on workshops remind us of many valuable aspects of life and improve our relationship with nature and our environment. We hope these workshops, and many more to come as we grow, will ease the trauma of the refugees we come across within our work.
The process of migration and its accompanying stress factors affect individuals and communities. An individual has to manage different stress factors resulting from the events precipitating the migration and/or resettlement into unfamiliar environments. This process can result in distress, loss of support systems and deterioration in psychosocial functioning among individuals.
We organize culturally congruent mental health seminars, workshops, and conduct individual assessments for refugees. The aim is to meet psychological needs, increase self-awareness, improve coping skills, and support psychosocial well-being of the individuals. This service is currently provided for Turkish speaking refugees, and is for adults (16 years and above). We do however aim to expand this vital service to refugees speaking other languages and younger refugees where permissible.