War Toys
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Travelog

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Travelog

Chronicling the process behind WAR-TOYS from the perspective of toy photographer Brian McCarty.

Index of posts by category:

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Posts tagged Bekaa Valley
Young Refugee's "Bad" and "Good" Cities

On March 3rd, Art Therapist Myra Saad (Artichoke Studio) and I returned to the Kayany Foundation's Malala Yousafzai School near the eastern border of Lebanon. We worked with a mixed-gender group of children (8-12 years old) and picked up where we left off in the previous session. It had ended with the children collaboratively designing an idealized "good" city. However, when put to a vote, they decided that it would be better to construct a "bad" city first, then rebuild on top of it the next time we met. 

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Designing Cities / Group Art Activities

From my very first WAR-TOYS trip, I've had few opportunities to work with the same children over multiple sessions. The reasons vary from deteriorating security situations (like in Gaza) to a lack of resources and/or access. Many organizations don't have ongoing psychosocial programs in which to integrate the project, and I wasn't in a position to create temporary workshops to fill in the gaps. To do this, I needed a dedicated art therapist, NGO support, and adequate funding. Happily, this year, everything came together.

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Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

On November 19th I traveled with art therapist Myra Saad and Kayany Foundation representative Firas Suqi to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Situated there on land rented from local farmers are a series of tent encampments housing recent Syrian refugees. Although a relatively new foundation, Kayany is only days away from opening its third school in the region. It's a remarkable accomplishment, providing direct benefit to children, many of whom haven't been inside a classroom for up to three years.

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