2021 Human Rights Projects

The students implemented five projects this year. Three were directly linked to the increase in mental health issues and gender-based violence during the periods of Covid related confinement, and two addressed more structural issues such as mothers' deprivation of the custody of their children, and the restrictions to the employment of refugees. 

Mental Health Game for Children: Rawan and Willy’s emotions. In coordination with Himaya, a Lebanese NGO dedicated to Child protection, five students developed a card game that allows children to have a conversation on mental health. Through a game involving 17 cards on emotions and 17 cards on comfort, children learn how to identify, understand and better manage their emotions. After testing the game, the students further developed it with the inclusion of four additional positive emotions and several activities (drawing and movements). 

Webinar on Mothers' custody of Children in the Lebanese Shiite community. Three students organised a webinar to discuss ways to lengthen the legal age for mothers to retain custody of their children. For the Shiite community, it is currently two years for a boy and seven years for a girl, while the average for other communities in Lebanon is 12 and 14 respectively, beyond which the custody goes to the father. The webinar brought together an Islamic scholar, Mufti Ahmed Taleb, a lawyer at the Shiite Religious Court, Jaafar Chehmi, two Human Rights activists, Hanna Ziadeh and Fadi Hachem, and the coordinator of the national campaign to raise the age of children under the custody of their mothers in the Shiite community,Zeina Ibrahim.

Awareness Video on Domestic Violence. Several reports showed the increase of domestic violence during the periods of confinement due to Covid-19. So three ArMA students decided to develop a short video that can be shared on social media. The group worked with CRDH, a Lebanese Human Rights NGO to develop a 2-minute animated video that presents the existing legal framework that protects victims of domestic violence and provides them with a list of hotlines and contact information of organisations that offer legal aid and protection for women victims of Gender Based Violence. 

Self-Defence Workshop. Women empowering women in Shatila Camp. In cooperation with Basket Beats Borders, a local NGO operating in the Palestinian Shatila camp, south of Beirut, three students set up a series of four trainings at a new community center. The trainings aimed at helping the participants connect their body and mind to detect and respond to violence. The project was implemented right after the second lockdown when several reports indicated an increase in Gender Based Violence during the confinements. In this project, self-defence became an expression of reappropriation of women over their bodies and a tool to claim their rights.

Online Teaching. Increasing opportunities for Refugee employment. Lebanese laws and regulations impose restrictions to the rights of Palestinian Refugees to work. A group of three ArMA students decided to partner with two organisations engaged in online education: Unite Lebanon Youth Project (Lebanon) and The Learning Cooperative (UK). The project aimed at sensitising a broad online audience to the situation of Palestinians in Lebanon, and to offer Palestinian graduates with opportunities to work as online tutors.