As we put the finishing touches on our spring exhibition, Flight: Explorations in Migration, Movement, and Freedom, opening this Saturday, April 2, we want to take a moment to talk about one of the nonprofit organizations that we will be supporting. West Branch Gallery has pledged to donate 100% of our commission from the sales of Syrian artwork and a portion of all other sales of works featured in the exhibition to the Red Cross in Syria and Yalla! Pour les Enfants. Here, Charlotte Bertal, Yalla’s co-founder and project manager, tells us about the organization’s roots, program, and mission.
“Yalla! is a French association, founded in July 2013 by French citizens dedicated to Human Rights and worried about the degradation of living conditions of Syrian children displaced by the conflict. Indeed, until today in Lebanon, only a fourth of 500,000 Syrian children have access to education, a right essential for their personal development and future integration in society. Yalla’s primary goal is thus to bring back to school children thrown out of school because of a conflict. We contribute to preventing conflicts and building peace among different ethnic and religious communities, as well as between host and refugee communities.
Yalla! humanitarian project in Lebanon is built around the creation of an informal school for Syrian children refugees in Aley: Yalla! classes welcome each year about 100 children who would otherwise be out of school. The objective of Yalla! school is the integration of these Syrian children within the Lebanese education system. Yalla!’s educative methodology not only aims at reinforcing children’s academic level but also at providing them with the interest in school and self-confidence that are necessary for them to pursue their education, notably through daily artistic activities as a means for self expression.
Through the organization of playful, psycho-social activities destined to both Syrian and Lebanese children, Yalla! aims to contribute to children’s development and inter-community dialogue. These activities are led by contributing local peace building and art therapy partners, as well as Lebanese, Syrian and international volunteers carrying an artistic project for children.”
– Charlotte Bertal, Yalla! Co-Founder and Project Manager
Meet our other nonprofit partners: