After over seven years of war in Syria, more than 350 000 refugees are still living in makeshift shelter camps in northern Bekaa, a fertile but harsh valley bordering Syria. With EU support, Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) provides the refugees with shelter, drinking water and latrines. The aid group also runs protection programmes that assist refugees with disabilities, refer people with serious and chronic diseases to hospital, as well as helping with birth and marriage registration.
The refugees in Bekaa mostly reside on private land belonging to Lebanese farmers. In return, refugees harvest olives, pick and stock tobacco leaves and herd cattle. Children, as young as thirteen, also work to support their families.
Photos by Diego Ibarra Sánchez and Lorenzo Tugnoli for GVC.