“Ibtasem” (Smile) is a pilot playground project designed for Syrian refugee children living in the informal tented settlements of Bar Elias in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. The playground was designed to provide a space of fun, relaxation, education and freedom for these children; a group who have been subjected to trauma, fear, isolation and boredom.
The Syrian crisis is the world's largest refugee crisis for almost a quarter of a century under UNHCR's mandate. It has devastated lives and uprooted millions of people from their homes and everyday lives.
The playground is designed so that it is easy to assemble, disassemble, transport and then either re-assemble or re-purpose. As it is intended that these refugees are able to move back to Syria in the near future, it was important to the partners, and those working in the settlement, that the playground be a temporary structure.