Underground funfair provides relief for Syrian children

Local NGO in regime-besieged Ghouta, east of capital, builds underground funfair for children to play in safety

Underground funfair provides relief for Syrian children

World Bulletin / News Desk

A group of Syrian activists working with a local NGO called the Tawaado Foundation have built an underground funfair for children.

Named “The Land of Childhood,” the funfair is located in Arbin, in Rif Dimashq governorate.

Its aim is to create a safe environment for children to have fun and play without fearing the Syrian regime’s daily bombardment, which has been ongoing for more than three years.

The total area of ​​the underground city is around 1,000 square meters, connected through a series of tunnels to protect children from the shelling.

The funfair is supervised by professional engineers who work to make the atmosphere as close as possible to that of ordinary playgrounds.

Securing the necessary supplies is made difficult by the Syrian regime’s blockade on the eastern Ghouta area, including Arbin city, which has lasted for more than two years.

The project is divided into several sections prepared for children according to their ages. It also has a hall used for presentations, lectures and psychological training, with those entering paying a nominal entry fee.

Overall, the funfair accommodates 400 to 700 children and employs around 50 people in the local area.

Abu Ammar al-Haj Ali, director of Tawaado Foundation, told in an interview that most families are unable to secure their children’s basic needs, let alone buying them games and other forms of entertainment.

"The lack of suitable places for such activities makes it [entertainment] limited to coloring and drawing, which led us to create the amusement park with the assistance of professionals in this field," he added.

Project supervisor Yasin al-Boushi said that one of the obstacles was finding a suitable and safe location. They settled on two cellars under separate buildings that they then linked together to create the space for the funfair.

"The next problem we faced was how to find the necessary construction materials. Due to the lack of cement in East Ghouta, we were forced to use mud with straw for interior cladding. The metals used in the project were brought from local landfills and recycled,” al-Bushi said.

People in Ghouta are suffering greatly due to the siege imposed on them by the Syrian regime.

The siege has killed many through cold and hunger due to a lack of fuel and food.

The Syria conflict began when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad launched a violent crackdown on protests that erupted as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings in early 2011.

The fighting continues to this day. It has left more than 220,000 people dead and displaced around 10 million Syrians from their homes, both internally and abroad, according to the UN. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ağustos 2015, 14:17