Worship for Justice - Sponsor Shatila

A Community project Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom

Sponsor Shatila supports families in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon, with a vision for peacebuilding at the heart of our work.

What is Sponsor Shatila?

Sponsor Shatila is an organisation that supports families in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. One of our long term aims is to build relationships between different religious and ethnic communities in Lebanon by providing peacebuilding education.

Core to our mandate is a vision for peacebuilding in Lebanon, to strive for a more socially stable future that breaks down barriers of hostility and suspicion bought about by decades of sectarian violence, not only in Lebanon but also the surrounding nations.

With the current influx of refugees from Syria, the situation in Lebanon remains unstable, hosting 1.2 million Syrian refugees is taking its toll on education, healthcare and general infrastructure in Lebanon. While refugees try to rebuild what they can of their lives in Lebanon, the Lebanese themselves are feeling the effects of the massive population increase, as their stories continue to collide so tensions grow between the host communities and refugees, resulting in an increase in violence in the country.

Towards the end of 2015 we will be conducting one of our first programmes in providing education on peacebuilding with the emerging generation in Lebanon. This will be for Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese youth, focusing on the prevention of violence by promoting the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to help resolve conflict peacefully in their own communities, with a particular focus on the role of forgiveness as a key step on the path to building peace.

Renewing Communities through Forgiveness Education – A Prospect for Peace

Our forgiveness based education program is founded in the work if the International Forgiveness Institute in Madison, WI, USA.  Below are some of the key principles…

  • Peace in the world is only possible when we have peace inside of ourselves, this can take many years to develop.
  • Few peace programs put their focus on young children. If we can educate a majority of students in the fine art of forgiving, then that community is more likely to become peaceful in the decades to come as the children enter adulthood and apply forgiveness to family, work, and other community contexts.
  • When a person forgives, he or she incorporates at least four moral virtues into the action and at least one central form of reasoning. The four virtues are kindness, respect, generosity and moral love. The central form of reasoning is inherent worth, the idea that all people naturally posses infinite value, not because of what they do but because of what they are. Because each person is so valuable he or she does not have to earn kindness, respect, generosity or moral love. Others are free to give these as they wish; it is their free moral choice.

How will the funds be used?

The funds we generate will be used to cover all general expenses for running the peacebuilding program, this will include:

  • Costs for hiring a venue.
  • Travel costs for both the participants and the volunteers running the program.
  • Resources to use during the sessions and to give out to participants.
  • Provide food/refreshments during the session. It is important to remember that all participants will be from impoverish backgrounds, we want to try and bless them through these sessions and certainly ensure it is at no cost whatsover to them.
  • Upon completeion of the program we would like to take the participants out for a social event, as a gift to them and to further help build relationships and discuss any issues that have arisen from these sessions. 

What is Worship for Justice?

Worship for Justice is a project which seeks to cry out for issues of injustice around the world and gather people together to promote awareness and action through the power of music.

In partnering with Worship for Justice we are doing two things to help fund this peacebuilding project:

1. A live concert in Portsmouth, UK, on the 21st November, gathering together to cry out for issues of peace and injustice, specifically aimed at the current situation in the Middle East. During the night we'll be showcasing a collection of songs inspired by the stories of refugees in Lebanon, as well as having a general time of worship and sharing more about the work of Sponsor Shatila. More info on the event can be found here.

2. Releasing a studio recorded EP in the beginning of 2016 consisting of this very collection of songs, inspired by the stories of refugees in Lebanon. We are simply asking that you would commit to purchasing this advance, so as to help us fund our peacebuilding program in Lebanon.

Unsure about giving to this cause? Come to our concert in Portsmouth on 21st November to find out more and hear the songs and stories that make up this project.

Sponsor Shatila registered charity number: 1137886