In July 2016, Jungleye conducted a workshop in an informal settlement located in the Bekaa Valley. Lebanon hosts more than 1.5 million of Syrian refugees in a country of 4 million people. Refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley are informal and scattered in between wide agricultural fields where displaced persons can work only during summer in exchange for a small amount of money to live.
This was Jungleye’s first workshop exclusively for children. The particpants were 9 to 14 years old and included 12 boys (Abdu, Abdo, Abdelaziz, Adham, Akram, Awad, Bahaa, Bassam, Hamdo, Ibrahim, Ali, Salah) and 3 girls (Hiba, Safah and Amni). In the camp, children do not have access to basic education, so the organizing a photography workshop was a way to teach them team work and, even for a short time, to give them a chance to learn and to express their ideas, emotions and imagination. The main topics mentioned by the refugees were water, education and lack of access to UN aid. Since the camp is an informal settlement, it cannot be registered with the UN (a registration issue since 2015), and, subsequently cannot receive any UN aid.
On the first day of the workshop, the municipality stopped the water channels providing water to the camp. Children then quickly agreed to focus their work on the water issue. The young photographers went to work, documenting the issue from every side, examining the source of water, water channels, water in the camp, water in the shelter, water in their daily life, water in the fields, and the impact of water on their health. By the end of the workshop, the children had created two photo essays. The first focused on their living condition in the camp regarding water supply and the second portrayed refugee workers in agricultural fields.