How it Began
Al-Laylaki school is situated in one of the poorest districts in Beirut, Al-Mreyjeh. A majority of the local population are from the South or the Bekaa. Central government support is extremely low, and there is a lack of educational and social services.
The Al-Laylaki kindergarten playground is a plain concrete space in open air. During winter, rain-water forms puddles in the playground and does not allow children to play outside for several days. Furthermore, given the absence of a water drainage system, the accumulating rain-water leaks into the ceiling of the underneath rooms causing further damage to the school building.
This situation prohibits kindergarten students from playing outside their classrooms and prevents teachers and staff from using the lower floors of the school for academic and recreational purposes.
How it Worked
The project connected the playground floor to the water evacuation system by installing a watertight membrane, evening it out with concrete, and putting a fun and safe flooring upon it to prevent flooding of rain. In addition to this, outdoor toys were purchased for the students.
“Child growth and care are really important and it’s great that an initiative such as Live Lebanon cares about that as much as we do. It was a good project and we hope more associations come up with such ideas”
Whether emotional, social, or motor, early learning is facilitated and fueled by the pleasure of play. Children should be educated in safe environments, and that was not the case in Al Mreyjeh Kindergarten situated in Mount Lebanon & Beirut.
In AL Mreyjeh Kindergarten the well-being, safety, learning and social development of 130 children (3 to 6 years old) were affected by the quality of their play area. The playground was made out of concrete, lacking even basic playing equipment. During winter, the facility flooded with water, as a result leaving the little kids with no place to do extracurricular activities. Moreover, the accumulating water was leaking to the basement underneath, preventing the school from organizing arts and sports sessions.
In June 2010, thanks to the support of Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Ghaleb Farha who believed in Live Lebanon from day one, a significant contribution was made to address the drainage problems in the playground and to buy outdoor toys for the children in order to develop their social and coordination skills. Soft flooring was also installed so that children can play safely.