The weather conditions in Lebanon during the winter are extreme. Most of the children I came across didn’t have the adequate clothing needed to face the freezing temperatures inflicted upon this region during the winter months. I saw children without socks and asked Ahmed why some children do not have warm socks on their feet. He told me that most children only have one pair and that when those are being cleaned they have to go a few days without them.

A young girl with a bright, beautiful smile came up to Ahmed to say hello. She was squeezing her tiny hands together to try and warm them up. I remembered that I had a pair of wool mittens in my bag and quickly reached in to give them to her. I was reminded everywhere I looked that these kids are struggling just to maintain basic living conditions.

One might think that these kind of conditions that the children live in would make for sad expressions on their faces, but I didn’t see even a frown from any of them. The suffering and daily struggle is real for everyone who has had to flee from their homeland, but the spirit within the young ones isn’t broken. I joined some of them in a futbol match. It felt like I could have been anywhere and I forgot for just a moment that I was inside of a shelter complex. The people who work as a part of URDA are very much focused on the health and wellbeing of children who live in these shelters. “It is a priority to make sure that they are looked after and feel cared for,” Ahmed told me.