In mid June, the Huffington Post published an article on their website that inspired us to get involved with a truly worthwhile project. The piece was entitled "Every Child Deserves To Play".
The article, by Ehsan Zaffar, described Camp Zeitouna - an arts and sports programme for displaced Syrian children run by the Karam Foundation. The project endeavours to counter traumatic factors in these children’s lives by restoring some semblance of regularity and by continuing their vital education. The concept is simple - that every child deserves to play. The camp aimed to fulfil this concept by building playgrounds and running workshops that allowed the children to express their creativity and imagination.
Camp Zeitouna spoke to The Creativity Hub as it is a programme that fits with our own mission. This being that everybody, young and old, should have the opportunity to play, especially children. Every year we choose one cause to sponsor and, for 2013, we decided that the cause would be Zeitouna.
We got in contact with the organisers at the Karam Foundation and offer a donation of 1500 sets of Rory's Story Cubes, to aid the children's workshops. In response, the Foundation informed us that they did not believe in handouts and suggested that we run storytelling workshops as part of the Winter Camp. In exchange for taking part in the workshop, each child would receive their own set of Rory's Story Cubes. We jumped at this chance to work directly with the children.
Rory travelled to the Al Salam Syrian School in Reyhanli, located on the Turkish/Syrian border in early December. He spent 5 days using Story Cubes to personally work with children of all ages, encouraging them to tell stories. Rory joined 30 other mentors from all over the world who ran many different workshops. You can watch a video of Rory's trip and experience at the camp below.