Because We Live Under The Same Sun

Who We Are

At the end of the year 2011, the youth initiative Sawa4Syria was founded as a reaction to the dire gap in fulfilling the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. SDAID was among the first initiatives on the ground, encompassing a big number of students, individuals, professionals, academics, and business men, Syrian, Lebanese, and of diverse nationalities and multiple backgrounds, united by a common aim: that humanitarian relief and development is a matter of social justice, and to raise the living standards of Syrian refugees particularly, and the families in need from all nationalities more generally, to the basic standards of a dignified life.


All efforts done by volunteers and those who supported the initiative (both materially and morally) helped the initiative Sawa4Syria to expand and become a non-profit organization Sawa for Development and Aid (SDAID), to work in different areas, including but beyond relief, in projects that transform the individual from beneficiary to an independent agent in society.



Contribute in building an integrated society through developing the capacities of

Individuals and providing them with material and psychosocial support.



Improve the living conditions of families in need and the help individuals in the community change from beneficiaries to independent agents through developing their expertise. In addition, our vision is to provide them with material, logistical, and psychological support for them in order to live a dignified life with minimum standards, through diverse complementary programs (relief, development and educational, among others).




Program Overview

  • Program Location

    The program’s activities will take place in the Bekaa Valley, which is on the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon. The Bekaa Valley is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes drive from Beirut.

Most activities will take place in one of SDAID’s schools and a football field both located in Bar Elias, Bekaa Valley region. 

The lodge is located in Taanayel’s Arc-en-Ciel (geo-map coordinates: 33°47'49"N   35°52'28"E), which will accommodate the housing expectations for all volunteers, and is only a ten minutes’ drive from the Bar Elias camp.

  • Program Duration

    The program will begin on the 3rd of August and will last the duration of 17 days and will be completed on the 20th of August. Within the 2 weeks, the interns will be helping the SDAID in various activities, learning about the refugee situation in Lebanon, giving us a hand where it is most needed as well as participating in various workshops that will develop their skills and capacities. Some activities will also be planned for the volunteers around Lebanon in two weekends.

    Those who wish to stay for additional days can do so. Whereby interns can help around the office or in the camps where needed. Please note that this will not be included in the program costs, however the SDAID team will help with the logistics.

  • Volunteer Requirements

    1. Minimum age of 17.

    2. Adequate travel insurance.

    3. Submitting the online application.

    4. Skype-interview with SDAID representative.

    5. Willingness to help and learn, teach and grow.


  • Project Description

    SDAID’s summer program will have a dual value for its volunteers. From morning to midday, volunteers will participate, with the SDAID representatives, in the activities for Syrian children. From midday to night, the schooling location will be used to conduct workshops run by SDAID professionals to train volunteers in various areas.


  • Volunteer Workshops

    The Sawa Volunteering Program will help dispel many previously held notions traditional volunteering programs in refugee camps. Volunteering is more than just sympathetic effort, but rather empathic submersion. SDAID will offer a unique volunteering experience in which volunteers will actively work along side the children- learning from them, understanding their life’s norms and values in order to better support them. This program is designed to push volunteers one step further than the average volunteer program – SDAID wants the unique opportunity to help growth in both child and volunteer.

    In addition to the training workshops, that will be given day in day out, by    professional trainers. These workshops will include certain topics like Community organizing, Leadership, Conflict resolution and transformation, Ethical volunteering and online strategies for campaigns.

    Getting actively involved in teaching, empowering and sharing learned experiences with more than 210 children, from the Bar Elias refugee camp, will help acquire a different lens through which you look at volunteering in general and volunteering in refugee camps more specifically. You will use your knowledge and experiences in building SDAID’s capacity as well as in growing as an individual.

  • Kids’ Day Camp

    The Kids’ day camp seeks to provide the children with an experience unlike the one they would receive from their schooling environments in the refugee camps. These are children ready to experience the joy of life; all they need is the hand of enthusiastic volunteers. We are focused to encourage their curiosity and spur their inspiration. Given that they cannot currently visit the world,  we aspire to bring the world to them.


  • The groups

    There are 210 children registered for SDAID’s Kids’ Day Camp. The total group will be divided into two larger groups of 110 children each.

    One group will be located outside the school on a large green field; this group will participate in the Sports and energy filled activities led by volunteers.

    The other group will be located inside the school. The school possesses 6 large rooms that the volunteers will work to design as a particular continent. The children will experience active learning, which will be led and designed by the volunteers.


  • Focus

    Each volunteer will be assigned a group of children in which he/she will grow familiar with over the 2 weeks of camp. 

    The program will bring a foreign country every day closer to these children, but with a warm human contact and fun activities rather than books of geography and history. These are children who have experienced traumatic events, and thus the SDAID team and the volunteers will focus on providing a loving, warm experience in which we can educate the children while simultaneously putting a smile on their faces, and on ours too!

    Bring the World to Them

    Our two-week theme will revolve around international cultures. For each two days, we’ll focus on decorating the classrooms according to the culture of the specific Country/Continent. We’ll provide the children with activities that complement the culture of the continent (IE: Cultural short stories, board games, sports, music, food etc.) The volunteers will provide their personal insight and knowledge of such continents if able, or they’ll learn and actively take care of the children during the activities. 

    The different fields of activities will be encompassed in the following:
    • Sports
    • Arts and Music
    • Historical Knowledge
    • Book readings
    • Storytelling
    • Any other qualification that volunteers are willing to give


  1. Sports 

    The volunteer(s) will lead their group in the fun, but competitive participation of sports present from the varying cultures. Sports are a great opportunity for both volunteers and children to interact and speak without spoken word.

  2. Arts and Music

    The volunteer(s) will lead their group in the fun, but competitive participation of sports present from the varying cultures. Sports are a great opportunity for both volunteers and children to interact and speak without spoken word.

  3. Historical Knowledge 

    The volunteer(s), with the lead of a SDAID representative, will actively recite stories from the foreign culture; explain the living styles of those foreign societies and the uniqueness of those societies. This is an opportunity to enrich the children with cultural and historical knowledge in a fun and creative way. 

    Throughout the 2 weeks, the children will actively develop a World String. The World String will be an activity that the children focus on each day of the camp, and by the end of the camp, the children will hopefully have produced a World String representing their new found knowledge of the world, their new friendships, and their positive times at camp!

  4. Program Schedule

The first (Day 1) and the last (Day 16) day have a different schedule from Days 2-15. Day 1 is for volunteers only. Day 1 will be for the settling of volunteers to their new surroundings while resting and meeting the fellow volunteers. Day 16 will be for the final day of camp where volunteers will be given a free day to get ready for departure while spending one extra day to enjoy the time spent in Lebanon. Day(s) 2-15 is the camp schedule designed to arrange both the Kids’ Day Camp and the Volunteer’s Internship.

Day 2:

9:00hr – 10:00hr


10:00hr – 11:00hr

Introduction to camp and SDAID (By Director).

11:00hr – 12:00hr

Security Discussion & Situational briefing of Refugees & Code of Conduct.

12:00hr – 13:00hr

Schedule briefing for the following 2 weeks.

13:00hr – 14:00hr

Organize volunteers with their strong qualifications for different tasks. This will allow us to make any unexpected changes to the schedule or activities if need be.

14:30hr – 15:30hr

Lunch Time.

15:30hr – 20:30hr

Ice Breaker! We will gather together and cooperate in games allowing us to grow familiar with one another.


Dinner Time.


The following is the schedule template for the next 2 weeks of activities for the volunteers.

If need be, changes may occur and the template will vary – volunteers will immediately be notified in such a case.


Day 3-15:

8:00hr – 9:00hr


9:00hr – 9:30hr

Daily Briefing.

10:00hr – 14:00hr

Volunteers leave lodge and together meet at Bar Elias school. Workers will gather with their groups and proceed with their specified work with children.

14:30hr – 16:00hr

Lunch & Break.

16:15hr – 18:15hr

Daily Assessment of the work done with children followed by Workshops led by professionally trained Social Workers(?)

18:30hr – 20:00hr

Preparations for the following day.


Dinner Time.


Leisure Time.

  • Ø Touristic Travels

Two days will be exempted from the schedule in which volunteers will choose of destinations to visit and days will be spent site-seeing Lebanon’s attractions.


These days will include outings for Lunch and/or Dinner – which will be covered by SDAID.


  • Ø Transportation


SDAID will cover the following:

  • airport Pickups to Arc-En-Ciel lodge.
  • daily commutes from lodge to Bar Elias school grounds.
  • Touristic Travel days.
  • airport Dropoffs from Arc-En-Ciel.


Program Costs

The program will cost 1600$ per person including the accommodation, 3 daily meals, touristic travels, transportation, trainings and workshops as well as the Lebanese sim card. 

Extra Pocket money can be used for buying souvenirs or some shopping during the touristic trips, extra snacks from the supermarket, units for the Lebanese sim card, etc. But is not a necessity   

* If you already have the housing and accommodations figured out please request the updated price for this option. However, the transportation to and from the camp will be part of the volunteer’s responsibility.



I have never been to Lebanon before and am worried! How safe is it?

Lebanon is a country where there can be unrest, however situations have calmed as of recent. Like all countries around the world, Lebanon possesses areas where criminal activity is more prevalent than others. Safety and security is a high priority for SDAID and you will never be placed in areas where we feel your safety is at risk. You will be accommodated and placed with other volunteers, so it is unlikely that you will ever be alone during your time on the program and we do everything in our power to ensure your volunteering trip is as safe and secure as possible. Nevertheless, Lebanon has a large international community, as foreign interaction is a commonality for the Lebanese.

Security and safety of our programs is constantly being reviewed and if you have any concerns we encourage you to discuss these with the local staff at orientation. During orientation, our local staff will provide guidance in the area of safety and security and in the unlikely event that something was to happen, you will be able to call on the local staff for support 24/7. The host lodge and staff at your placement are also available to provide you with assistance if needed.

Is it easy to keep in touch with friends and family at home?


You can bring your own mobile phone and if it is SIM card compatible we can get a local SIM card and a Lebanese mobile number, which is great for keeping in touch with other volunteers and also home. You may also buy a local “brick” phone for approximately US$25. Both International and local/long distance calls can be made.

You’ll often be within proximity of the group and the purchasing of a phone is not a necessity; however if you feel the need, we are more than ready to help accommodate any requests.

 Please note, the country code of Lebanon is (+961).


You will be able access the Internet in the Arc-en-Ciel lodge as wifi connection will be accessible.

Do I require vaccinations to travel to Lebanon?

All vaccinations remain a personal choice and we recommend visiting a travel doctor (ideally 4 to 6 weeks prior to your start date) to discuss vaccinations, as the list we provide below is only a guide. Your doctor will advise you of the benefits and implications for vaccinations available in accordance to your full travel plans so you can make an informed decision. We recommend considering the following vaccinations:

  • Polio

  • Hepatitis A
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus

  • Typhoid
Hepatitis B
  • Tuberculosis (when epidemic)

It should be noted that drinking water is only available in the form of bottled or when supplied by the lodge. Like other developing countries, Lebanon does not possess    drinking-safe tap water – this must be noted for all those coming to Lebanon.


For more questions and inquiries please find our contact information below.

Contact Us

Via Email
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Beirut: 0096176608947


To fill in the online application