Learning for the Empowerment & Advancement of Palestinians (LEAP) is an educational empowerment program for Palestinian refugee-youth in Lebanon. LEAP is dedicated to nurturing the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of its students. LEAP aims to equip students with the confidence and creativity needed to be their own agents of change. One central component of LEAP’s work is Summer Help In English (SHINE), a four-week, intensive English program in the Palestinian refugee-camps of Lebanon. Students enlisted in SHINE participate in yoga, dance, theater, social media, photography, poetry, and creative writing. LEAP recruits volunteers to teach English and lead recreational activities while living and working in the refugee camps. In turn, volunteers learn about the plight of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere.
A 2012 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the arts-related workshops in LEAP’s SHINE program, particularly photography and film training. These workshops gave students the tools to depict their lives and create their own narratives through images and personal anecdotes.
A 2011 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network was used to support LEAP’s arts-related summer activities, as well as our social media workshops. Students learned basic photography and filming. These workshops helped empower our students by giving them tools to capture their narrative and depict their lives through images and personal anecdotes. Moreover, LEAP’S social media workshops guided students to use the internet to connect with people in the international community in general, and Palestine in particular, where they are restricted from entering.