Lebanese Red Cross volunteers are helping Syrian refugee women to tackle hygiene and health related taboos by group discussions. With support from the People of Japan and Japanese Government, 12,000 women receive women’s emergency kits in Lebanon. Scroll down for full story.

By Noora Jussila, IFRC

Photo: Maki Igarashi / IFRC

Lebanese Red Cross volunteers Afifé Tannous and Mona Asaad register women who are taking part in hygiene, sanitation and reproductive health discussions at Kneisseh refugee settlement. Lebanese Red Cross is distributing women’s emergency kits and providing hygiene and sanitation discussions for 12,000 women in Syrian refugee settlements and hosting Lebanese communities.

 

Photo: Noora Jussila / IFRC

Lebanese Red Cross volunteers discuss issues such as personal hygiene, sanitation and menstrual cycle with women in the camp. Many find talking about these issues difficult at first, but after the volunteers share their own experiences, the women feel more comfortable in sharing their own stories as well. After the session, many say they find the information about menstrual cycle especially interesting.

 

Photo: Noora Jussila / IFRC

Health and sanitation projects delivered by Lebanese Red Cross in the refugee camps are supported by the Japanese Government and IFRC. On this visit, Mr. Matsumoto, Charge d’Affaires for Embassy of Japan in Syria and Special Coordinator for Syria joins Lebanese Red Cross volunteers and enjoys coffee, tea and discussions with the Syrian refugee men while women have their separate session.

 

Photo: Noora Jussila / IFRC

Children wait anxiously for their mothers and sisters to come back from the discussion. Kneisseh refugee settlement is home to 100 Syrian refugee families. Lebanon currently hosts over one million registered Syrian refugees, most of them women and children.

 

Photo: Noora Jussila / IFRC

Nancy Majoud and Rola Moussa pack the women’s emergency kits, which include flashlight, soap, sanitary napkins, underwear and a headscarf for those who choose to wear it.

 

Photo: Maki Igarashi / IFRC

Mr. Matsumoto helps Lebanese Red Cross volunteers to hand out the women’s emergency kits. Half of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are women. Receiving these kits allows the families to spend their limited income on other basic necessities such as food, clothing and household items.

 

Photo: Noora Jussila / IFRC

“Yalla let’s take a selfie!” Lebanese Red Cross volunteers insist on taking selfie with Mr. Matsumoto after all the women have received their emergency kits.