This week, Leona O’Donovan and Róisín Manning,  Fourth Class pupils in Star of the Sea School, Passage West, share a little of what they have learned about Maya, one of the children who appears on this year’s Trócaire Box.

Maya is 10 years old. She lives with her Mom and Dad, her brothers Farid and Nabil and her sisters Reem and Amira, in a rented house near a refugee camp in Lebanon. Maya and her family are from Syria but were forced from their land when civil war broke out. They made a dangerous journey to safety in Lebanon and are now one of the 1.5 million refugees from Syria in Lebanon.  Maya’s favourite food is mujaddara, a lentil and rich dish that she helps her Mom to cook. Maya also helps to clean the dishes and the rooms. Maya loves to play cards, marbles, skipping and wrestling. Maya’s mother tells her that they used to live in a lovely neighbourhood with a lot of houses, apartments and businesses. Their house had a balcony and flowers. Maya and Reem like to draw what their Mom describes. Maya is sometimes happy living in Lebanon but sometimes they feel that the local people don’t like Syrians and this causes fights. Trócaire is providing Maya and her community with a safehaven centre where she can play in the playground, do art and attend classes.