Inside of the shelters I saw URDA programs in action. I was able to witness a school class in session. One particular class had to do with teaching girls and young women psychosocial skills, English, and various skills that would help them adjust to their new lives in the camp. I noticed several brightly colored shelters, some painted with landscape murals, designed to brighten their surroundings and make the situation seem less grim.
The men who took me around the camps and introduced me to people living inside told me about other programs like micro-financing for small businesses. URDA meets with Syrians to listen and help develop a plan with them in order to help establish a way for them to support themselves. Inside the camps, I visited a kind of general store set up as one of these micro-financed businesses, similar to the textile room we saw the day before. As you can imagine, with very little financial support from the government, it is imperative for these programs to exist. Back in the URDA offices in Beirut, they told me of some of the more successful businesses that they have helped these people set up, from an electronics repair business, to a bakery, to many other types of opportunities to create income in between.