“I love playing with my new friends. If I find someone I want to be my friend, I will help him.” — Ghaith, ASC Participant and Syrian Refugee
Each afternoon, Collateral Repair’s Family Resource and Community Center fills with the sound of children playing and laughing at our After-School Club (ASC). Two age groups each meet twice per week to learn and laugh. Programming always includes both academic and trauma-relief games and activities each week. Our education specialist, Karam, leads a team of dedicated volunteers to ensure the classroom is a safe and reliable part of the kids’ routines.
Many of the kids at ASC are not currently in school, and those who are are often behind after gaps in their schooling, overcrowded classrooms, and trauma-related stress. After-School Club helps the children develop their literacy and numeracy skills. For many of the kids, this is a less stressful environment than a school where they may be the only refugee or student of their religion or country of origin or where they may be older than their classmates.
In children, lingering trauma can manifest as trouble focusing, behavioral issues, and difficulty trusting people around them, among others. Our programming aims to help kids work through these issues and develop healthy coping strategies. The ASC curriculum covers topics such as mutual respect, identity, and mindfulness. Activities often include breathing exercises and expressing difficult emotions in healthy ways. Collateral Repair Project provides a safe space and opportunities for children who have faced immense disruption in their lives to connect with other kids in meaningful ways.
The After-School Club is a part of our Education Campaign with Rotary International. Many children in this program are also beneficiaries of our school-supply distribution and received backpacks, uniforms, and school supplies. Each class ends with nutritious snacks, low-stress homework, and a lot of smiling faces.