Lebanon: children from Houla meet Blue Helmets

70 students from a local public school welcomed by Italian peacekeepers at UNIFIL HQ in Lebanon.  

Italian peacekeepers from the UNIFIL mission welcomed approximately 70 pupils from the public school of Houla, a Lebanese town located along the “Blue Line”.   

Accompanied by school teachers and members of the local Non Governmental Organization (NGO) “Mothers’ association”, these students had the opportunity to visit UNIFIL HQ in Naqoura, for the first time.

This guided tour was just one of many activities conducted by the Italian “Blue Helmets” in the South of Lebanon as part of UNIFIL’s support to the Lebanese celebrations for the “Mothers’and Children’s festival”, between the end of March and the beginning of April.   

The hosting Units

The tour was organized and coordinated by UNIFIL CIMIC Unit (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon – Civil Military Coordination Unit). Italy contributes to the ranks of this UNIFIL asset with CIMIC operators from Multinational CIMIC Group, a Combined / Joint Unit of the Italian Army, specially designed to conduct CIMIC operations.

As part of the visit, students aged between 5 and 12 were offered live demonstrations by military-dog assets from the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka and witnessed a live exercise by the Austrian Fire Brigade / Rescue Unit and a display of their equipment.

Also, they took a guided tour of Task Force ITALAIR’s helicopters. Task Force ITALAIR is the only joint asset deployed by Italy in International Peacekeeping missions.

Children’s experience

Young visitors reported that the visit was a “very special day” which allowed them to enjoy a unique experience, to find out things they were curious about and to see how peacekeepers work in Lebanon.

The Head of the supporting NGO thanked Italian Blue Helmets for the opportunity and commented that the military continue to provide peace, stability and security in South Lebanon, every day.    

Multinational CIMIC Group

Italian CIMIC operators deployed to South of Lebanon operate in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, through frequent interaction with local population and authorities and with International Organizations, thus supporting situational awareness and confidence of the local population in the UN mission.     


Source: Italian Defence General Staff Website


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