With the Jusoor summer project 2018 having come to an end, Val and I can look back with pleasure and satisfaction on a remarkable summer. We were given the wonderful opportunity of living and working in Lebanon, and the children we took through the production had a positive experience which will live with them throughout their lives.
We also have the opportunity to look forward, to provide the children of Jeb Jannine with something which will benefit all of them, as well as future pupils. And to do this, we are asking for your help.
While teaching at the school, I came across a very large storage room, about the size of three big classrooms, full of the sort of equipment all schools accumulate – furniture, boxes of books, old gym mats, some technical kit…. I joked at the time that I had found the theatre we needed, but then I got to thinking.
Jeb Jannine is desperately short of space. There is a classroom for each class, a library and a meetings room. There is a playground, though for much of the year the weather makes this difficult to use. But if the storage room were emptied, decorated and basically equipped, it could be invaluable. Suddenly, Jeb Janinne would have an assembly hall; an indoor play area; a teaching space for music, dance and drama; a gym or small sports hall; a lecture theatre or small cinema; a meeting room for the community to use; and, of course, a performance area for future productions. All that is needed is money… which is why we are asking for your help.
Here is a shopping list of the basic requirements to transform the space (in US$). Wherever possible, the intention is to use local suppliers and craftsmen:
- $12 each for stackable chairs (x100)
- $35 to pad a pillar (x2) or curtain a window (x8)
- $60 for the projection screen, or to paint a wall / ceiling (x5)
- $150 for each staging unit (x28) plus a set of steps (locally-made, therefore repairable)
- $250 each for the sound system, internet provision, every-day lighting
- $600 for each section of (floor to ceiling) storage (x6)
- $2500 for flooring
- labour costs
The total cost of the project, including relocating the equipment currently stored there, is around $15,000; not a negligible amount, but achievable, with your help. And the resulting facility would be invaluable.
If you feel able to fund any of the items listed above or contribute to one, that would be terrific. To make a contribution, click Donate
If you prefer to contribute to Jusoor’s overall programme, and would like to know more about what they do, their website is: http://www.jusoorsyria.com.
Of course, I am aware of the argument that, with the country (and world) in such turmoil, with millions of refugees in Lebanon and the neighbouring countries in need of housing, food, safety, then this project is… well, a bit peripheral. But there are always harder cases, and because we cannot solve all the world’s problems, it does not mean we cannot solve any. And in any case, I do not believe that giving children the chance to play (and dance, sing, learn) is either frivolous or a negligible ambition. I can also promise that every penny raised would go directly to this project, that it would be used immediately, and that the benefit to the children would be huge.