Flying Gardens

Flying Gardens
Started on: Sat, 11/01/2014 End date: Sat, 12/31/2016
Project description

"Flying Gardens" project entitles gardening rooftops of buildings in the most underprivileged areas of Tripoli, Tabbaneh. The rooftops will be planted with edible plants and vegetables in order to make residents of the building self-sufficient. It will also include a safe playing space for children of the building instead of having them spend times on the streets and in unsafe surroundings. Environment-friendly and recycled materials will used to rehabilitate the rooftop. The rehabilitated rooftop will also allow us to hold regular cultural, youth dialogue and social inclusion programs as well as self-motivation workshops.

We already started with a pilot whereby we rehabilitated a building rooftop in Tabbaneh. The residents’ feedback was overwhelmingly welcoming, but unfortunately we could not continue for financial reasons. After doing the necessary needs assessment and financial feasibility, we concluded that we are in need of $30,000 to fully equip 6 rooftops in the neighborhood with children games, books, a reading/cultural space made from recycled and reused material, painting and drawing, planting edible fruits and vegetables that building residents can make use of, and most importantly to implement safety measures such as high fences and roofing.

Why this project: Tabbaneh is one of the most deprived communities in Lebanon as a whole. Studies conducted by the ESCWA over the past couple of years, revealed that some 87 percent of households in the Tabbaneh area are considered deprived, and out of these, about 52 percent live in extreme deprivation. Poverty and neglect have long marked Tabbaneh and are major contributing factors to the ongoing cycle of violence there. Tabbaneh is characterized by a high concentration of children and youth, but it is also well-known for high school dropout and high youth unemployment rates, standing at roughly 50% and 40% respectively. With such difficulties, come different forms of social misbehaviors these children and youth engage in to “kill time” such as drugs and alcohol abuse and alarming acts of violence. Therefore, childhood is almost a non-existent phase for majority of residents there. Instead of having a healthy childhood, children and youth often find themselves spending their time on the streets and being exposed to deadly dangers.

Need behind it: Having been actively involved in youth-led initiatives benefitting Tripoli, and particularly Tabbaneh, we chose to take a step toward ameliorating those deadly consequences by creating more and more green and safe playing spaces on rooftops of Tabbaneh buildings.

How will it benefit the community: The project will provide a safe playing green space for children, a cultural space for youth where regular youth dialogue and social inclusion programs as well as self-motivation workshops will be held, and it will also make building residents self-sufficient by planting edible plants and vegetables. Rooftops will ultimately be turned into green, safe, and cultural open spaces for children, youth and also adults of the buildings. Building committees will be created to ensure sustainability and proper maintenance of the newly rehabilitated green space.

The crowd-funding campaign continues ZOOMAAL until the beginning of June and aims to fully mobilize an amount of $30,000 by the aforementioned date. To that end, the youth volunteers are disseminating awareness on the goals of their campaign through social media networks and also through providing motivational in-kind prizes for individual donors, and diversified sponsorship packages for corporate/organizational donors.

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Project objectives

Flying Gardens project aims at transforming Bab Al Tabbaneh's rooftops, that had witnessed fierce rounds of clashes over the past 3 years, into green social spaces benefiting children, youth, and residents of buildings in general.

Project activities
Collaboration with other organizations