There are about 800 Syrian refugees living in tents in this former military base. About a third are aged 12 or under and just under half are under 16.
It is particularly difficult for the children who are missing out on their education and the chance to play. We don’t just want to provide food for them to eat and clothes for them to wear. Just as important is the opportunity to have some fun and offer services that provide some kind of normality.
There are so many children on site who have so little for them to do, a playground is the obvious thing to provide. The two swings installed on 28 July have already made a huge difference and are extremely popular. We currently set the swings up for a hour a so every morning and have a queuing system so that as many as possible get an opportunity to play.
With only 2 swings and about 300 children who want to play on them we need to have this limitation and level of supervision to avoid the inevitable conflicts.
Working with a funder, our plan is to use the space the army have reserved for us on the camp to provide a lot more play equipment. There is huge potential here to create something really special for the children. Imagine what it could be like with slides, climbing frames and even more swings.
Not only can we then direct our volunteers to other essential tasks but we can leave the playground up and running all the time so that the kids can play whenever they want. And life for them can be a little bit more normal.
The adults could also have more of a go.