Help us build safe spaces for girls in Lebanon

by CatalyticAction in Beirut, Lebanon

Total raised £13,486

raised so far

+ est. £1013.75 Gift Aid

113

supporters

Help us work with teenage girls to promote gender equality in vulnerable neighbourhoods of Lebanon, one public space at a time!

by CatalyticAction in Beirut, Lebanon

We're still collecting donations

On the 25th April 2023 we'd raised £12,110 with 104 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

We hit the £11,300 target! We will keep this page open for donations as the more we collect the more we will be able to build with the girls. Any extra funds we will raise will maximise the project's impact. 

For example, engaging more teenage girls, building an additional space, a structure, an element or even just purchasing some extra paint to add more colours.


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"My family doesn't let me get out of the house, because I am a girl... not a boy" Yara, 14 yo

In Lebanon, public spaces are male dominated. Help us work with teenage girls to redesign their neighbourhoods and promote gender equality.

In many communities in Lebanon, women and teenage girls are often expected to limit their use of the public space to certain times and activities. In addition to this, often these public spaces offer very little or no facilities for teenage girls. This results in many girls not leaving their home, causing them to miss out on developing the social, cognitive, emotional and physical skills that are nurtured when using public spaces. 

For many girls, this exclusion also generates an acceptance of ‘being weak’, which contributes to strengthening an unjust and patriarchal society. 

We want to challenge these inequalities by working with teenage girls to take control of their neighbourhood by designing and building safe public spaces with and for them. 

With your support we will be able to build much-needed safe public spaces for hundreds of girls and women living in Karantina. 

"I fear for my daughters in public spaces from being bullied and harassed verbally and physically" Samar, 43 yo

Gender inequalities in Lebanon

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Lebanon is a country of deep and structural gender inequalities, with one of the highest overall gender gaps in the world, ranking 119 out of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum Gender Gap report 2022.

Gender moral codes lead to the increased surveillance of teenage girls to reduce their interaction with boys, which limits their movement and shrinks their use of public spaces. 

A common sight in Lebanon is to see public spaces offering football courts, which are dominated by boys, leaving very little space for teenage girls. We chose to work with teenage girls as they are particularly vulnerable to exclusion in public spaces.

As girls grow up their freedoms to use public spaces shrink while for boys it increases. 

Thanks to your support we will be able to empower young girls to take ownership of the public spaces in their neighbourhood. By working on shaping their neighbourhood, they will strengthen their role in society and challenge the unjust preconceptions dictated by the patriarchal society. #GenerationEquality  

Why public spaces

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Teenage girls need public spaces! Public spaces answer their specific needs to find a space outside the house where they can feel safe, while fulfilling their needs for social interaction and self-expression.

For this reason, public spaces need to provide a welcoming space for everyone, including girls. If girls perceive public spaces as male spaces, they will be excluded from public life. However, when public spaces are welcoming for girls, these spaces have the power to inspire girls and women to take an active role in public life and promote gender equality in all aspects of their life. 

Where

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This project will be implemented in one of the most vulnerable neighbourhoods of Beirut: Karantina.

Karantina has a long history of hosting forced displaced communities including Palestinians, impoverished Lebanese, Syrian refugees, and other migrants. The Beirut port explosion in 2020 drastically impacted Karantina’s built infrastructure, and worsened the pre-existing struggles and tensions between community groups.

"In Karantina there is no space that makes us (girls) comfortable. I love to participate in sports activities but here I don't feel comfortable" Nassim, 12 yo

Who we are

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We are CatalyticAction – a charity that uses design and architecture to empower vulnerable children, youth and their communities.

We achieve this through built and research projects, delivered using a participatory approach that engages local communities.

We are a team of architects, researchers, artists, builders, educators, filmmakers, and humanitarians. Our story began in 2014, when we supported refugee children in Lebanon by co-creating safe and stimulating educational spaces.

To date, we have implemented 58 participatory projects with a diverse pool of partners. Download our 2022 Impact Report to learn more about our work.

“You engage with us in design activities and then you actually deliver what we envision. You don’t just come, chat and then do nothing. We really appreciate that!” Resident of Karantina, 54 yo

Visit our Website and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

If you have any questions about this project or our work please get in touch at [email protected] We would love to hear from you!

In case you prefer not to donate online, please email Joana Dabaj at [email protected]

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£20 or more

Add Colours. Dream!

Colours trigger positive emotions. A colourful artwork can evoke inspiring thoughts and feelings. Your donation can fund a paint bucket to create a colourful and inspirational mural in the neighbourhood. Its design will be made with the girls.

£50 or more

Provide Seating. Relax!

A bench is a simple yet important element in public spaces. It provides opportunities to relax and socialise. Your donation can fund a seating element to sit and relax. Its location and shape will be defined with the girls.

£100 or more

Give a Voice. Empower!

We want to listen to the girls! Participation enables empowerment. Your donation can fund a full day of participatory activities with the girls, giving them the opportunity to express their ideas and through this process challenge gender inequalities.

£200 or more

Create Memories. Play!

Play is a fun way to create memorable moments shared with friends. Play allows teenagers to develop social skills that are important for their healthy development. Your donation can fund a performance stage in a safe space selected by the girls.

£500 or more

Provide Safety. Gather!

Safety and protection are essential for teenage girls to gain control over their lives. Your donation can fund an entire small structure with seats to be placed in a location selected by the girls.

£1,000 or more

Drive Change. Catalyse!

When girls’ ideas transform into reality, this catalyses a great sense of positive change and ownership. Your donation can fund the full activation of an existing pocket space that the girls want to transform.

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