Tip: Activate javascript to be able to use all functions of our website

Invitation to another world - the Women's Centre in the Rashidieh refugee camp in southern Lebanon

Women's Center in the South of Lebanon

Ahlan wa sahlan - welcome to the Women's Centre in Rashidieh! As a guest, you will be welcomed by one of the volunteers who will be happy to show you around the newly renovated building and the different activities that women and children from the camp for Palestinian refugees can choose from.

Architecturally and also in terms of size, the centre stands out from other buildings in the camp. On the ground floor there is a special recreational area for children with disabilities where they can play or watch TV. On the same floor there is also a senior citizens' centre run by the non-profit organisation Sanabil.

As you walk along, the tantalising smell emanating from the "Beit Al-Mouneh" - the centre's "pantry kitchen" - is sure to whet your appetite. A team of women cooks several delicious dishes here every day - extremely popular with the residents. Bread dough is also prepared, which the families then process.

Woman preparing food

After the tasting, the tour takes you to the first floor, which offers space for various recreational activities. The space is well used - as many women as possible should be able to participate in a wide range of activities.

People in fitness room

In the main hall there is a new fitness room exclusively for women, opened only in January 2022. Here the residents can work out safely - the equipment is actively used. Next door is the "listening room", which offers the women a quiet place to relax and reflect, and is also used for counselling sessions. Finally, very centrally, there is a training room for the volunteers and a beauty centre for the visitors.

Head of Womens Center at desk

Maryam Al-Saeed is the director of the centre. She is looking forward to talking to you and sharing her vision for the future. "I would like this centre to become a place that is perceived by the women of the camp as a safe and open space where they can openly address their needs. We have more than ten volunteers, five staff and many women who already feel comfortable and come here regularly." Maryam is grateful for Germany's support through KfW Development Bank in building the centre for the women in Rashidieh.

About 2,000 people belong to the centre's "catchment area". Since the reopening of the building in September 2021 and the gradual withdrawal of preventive measures related to COVID-19, the Women's Centre has been able to offer more and more activities, attracting an increasing number of visitors.

The project is financed by the German Federal Government through KfW Development Bank and implemented by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. In addition to KfW, GIZ and Unicef, several non-governmental organisations also support the centre. Rashidieh Camp is located 86 km south of Beirut and has 15,700 residents.

UNRWA in Lebanon