5) Anthology creation
Creating anthologies of stories written by teachers in displacement
The Giant Watermelon Esraa's Stories The Cat's Family The Lake Where Frogs Lived The Starling's Visit The Bird Words
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3) Our methodology
Reading, writing and storytelling
Our simple methodology exists to maximise the potential of stories and generate discussion amongst teachers, parents and children. You can read and download our methodology here.
7) Donating our books to schools in refugee and host communities
We understand that not everyone has the resources to buy our books
We encourage organisations, schools and individuals working with displaced communities to contact us about our books regardless of whether or not they have the resources to buy our books. We often make donations ranging from individual books to thousands, depending on your needs.
The interview here shows how one headmaster teaching Syrian children at an informal education centre in Lebanon used a donation of 250 copies of The Cat's Family made in 2016.
4) Our trainings and capacity building workshops
Empowering educators to adopt our methodology and write their own stories
2) Radio plays of our stories
Beautiful radio plays of our stories are available to listen to and download here
Since 2015 we have offered teacher, education facilitator, education officer, counsellor and parent trainings encompassing basic reading, story-telling, story-writing and book-making activities. These have been successful across Lebanon, Iraqi Kurdistan and Jordan, and Palestine. They are traditionally delivered by Kitabna author, Helen Patuck, and teacher, Maria Chambers, of the Kitabna team. Our training objectives are to nurture the following in teachers and educators living in displacement:
a culture of pride and dignity in local storytelling
empowered educational leaders and teachers with the skills/knowledge to nurture creative expression in students and creative stimulating activities
key 21st century skills in educational leaders, teachers and students
6 ways we work with organisations in emergency education
In November 2015, Kitabna were contracted by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Jordan to deliver 2 weeks of story-telling, story-writing and book-making trainings to NRC Youth and Education Teams in Zaatari, Azraq and EJC camps. Kitabna author, Helen Patuck, and Maria Chambers of the Kitabna team delivered these trainings. By the end of the two weeks we had created 8 beautiful stories, and the teachers had the skills to use limited camp resources to make print-ready copies and print them for their students.
Following the success of this training and further trainings in early 2017, Kitabna developed artwork for these stories and worked with designers to bring together a final anthology of 5 stories. Kitabna worked with designers and proof-readers to submit a print-ready proof to the NRC in Jordan. “Once upon a time in Zaatari and Azraq: Tales from our refugee camps” was printed in June 2017.
The Kitabna team spent one year developing our initiative in Lebanon before moving on to wider displacement contexts in France (Calais/Dunkirk), Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Greece. Over 17,000 Kitabna books have been distributed to children in displacement now, including distribution with The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children International and the International Rescue Committee. We are always looking for new ways collaborate with organizations working in emergency education, in the MENA region and beyond. Please explore our scope of work below and get in touch if you would like to work with us.
1) Our books
Culturally relevant children’s books in the languages of refugee/host communities (paperback and digital)
6) Re-designing emergency education materials
Our style makes education tools more culturally relevant and user-friendly for teachers and children
Following the discovery of our books in Palestine, Kitabna was commissioned to re-design and illustrate the incredible "Better Learning Program" (BLP) methodology developed by the University of Tromsø and the Norwegian Refugee Council. Since 2013 the BLP manuals have been used as field manuals for teachers working with children suffering from traumas in conflict and post-conflict zones. Just as first aid manuals exist to deal with physical hurt and pain, these manuals take an important step forward in developing the same for mental health and devastating emotional injury. Perhaps most significantly, the manuals have been proven to reduce children's nightmares from 5 per week to 0. We were excited to bring Kitabna's child-friendly, culturally relevant style and approach to this important methodology.
The manuals were illustrated with black line and watercolour, with Arabic and English editions created.
These radio plays of Kitabna books were created by Amal FM, which broadcasts into Raqqa, Syria, in 2017. Amal FM is a beacon of positivity and hope for the future of Syria. It is an independent, community radio station that informs, stimulates and energizes listeners with a rich mix of contemporary and traditional culture via music and spoken word. It has an active and ongoing dialogue with its audience and Amal FM has a core goal of broadcasting messages of hope and optimism to the Syrian people, particularly those who were living under the brutal dictatorship of Daesh (so-called ISIS).