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Strengthens social stability and integration among the different components of the community in Bourj Hammoud
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Strengthens social stability and integration among the different components of the community in Bourj Hammoud

UNDP
Parks and open spaces make city quarters more livable: they offer recreational opportunities for everybody especially the youth at risk, low income families, and children. They are crucial in inner city neighborhoods, especially in crowded towns such as Bourj Hammoud.

Access to public parks and recreational facilities has been strongly linked to the reduction in crime rates, and can strengthen social stability regardless of cultural backgrounds, religion, affiliation, age, or gender.

Therefore, within the Lebanon Host Communities Support project (LHSP), MoSA, and UNDP initiated a project funded by US – BPRM aiming to rehabilitate a public garden in Bourj Hammoud, for the most vulnerable urban residents of the area.

“We are now able to bring our grandchildren here because it is safe and very close to the house. We are very happy with it” said Vartoug Apkarian, age 50.

The project aims to promote social integration among the different components of the community, especially among the youth. “We used to play on the streets and our parents were always scared. Now we can play football here. It is more fun and we are all happy” said David Hovhannessian, age 9.

This initiative will encourage residents to seek such public gardens, which provide a green area for kids to play, as well as access to an open space for adults to meet up and socialize. “Now everything is clean. We can appreciate nature. Children can play football and have fun, and even older people can come and relax in the afternoon” said Samir Fouad Baaklini, age 74. This public garden aims to gather people of all ages to have the benefit of interacting with each other within a safe environment.

“This place is totally different now. It is really beautiful and people of all ages can come and hang out here. It has become a better place for young and older people. It is much safer since a guard will be watching the park. Also, they removed steel playgrounds which were very harmful for children, and added grass which is much safer. We are enjoying it because it is calm here” said Krikor Abrahamian, age 46.

More than ten thousand people directly benefitted from the project that targeted residents of the area from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, especially children and low income families who are in need of such recreational facilities.