so much more than cake
so much more than cake
We work with local communities, families and individuals to throw birthdays for children. All our birthday parties are contextualized to meet the needs and desires of those being celebrated. While they will all look different, depending on context, they all include; snacks, drinks, singing, party favors, organized games, professional entertainment and of course, cake (or culturally relevant sweet treat).
We want to create a "beautiful day in the neighborhood" by partnering with local communities and families to provide safe opportunities for children to play, imagine and dream. Professionally designed events including sports, drama, movies, etc.
For many of us, one of the great treats of summer was going to "camp." Well, we want to share that joy by hosting our very own "kids camps." Our hope is that for every 100 parties/days of play we organize, we get to host a professionally run, multi day experience dedicated to children from neighboring areas having a safe space to play together.
Our area of focus is to help the children living in and around refugee communities throughout the Middle East.
As an example, in the country of Lebanon over 1.5 million refugees mostly made up of children have fled the Syrian Civil War.
1 in 3 people living in Lebanon is a refugee.
The original idea for The Cake Collaboration (TCC) came on the hills overlooking Beirut, Lebanon. The question was, "how can we do something unique for those Syrian refugee children down the road?" After getting to know some of the children better, we realized none had been able to celebrate a birthday in years. The first thought was, “well, let’s throw a party!” The first party we threw had 32 Syrian refugee children in attendance.
What we thought was going to be a "one-off" nice thing to do for our neighbors provided us with the opportunity to have many conversations with families and neighboring refugee communities.
These conversations led us to the realization that not many (if any) organizations were seeking to serve the social and emotional needs of displaced children (55% of displaced people are under the age of 18). Yet, "Our children are not able to be children" was one of the most commonly heard refrains from leaders within displaced communities. So we decided to do something about it. In 2018 we started making sure opportunities were given to children to imagine, to play, to laugh, to just be a child and ultimately, flourish in life.
But what we found is, in a short about of time, we have created models that are not only providing for a "felt need" of communities but are scalable, cost-effective and have quickly earned us a “right to speak” to displaced communities in a way that most nonprofit/NGOs can only dream. All of our teams and programs are designed to be "mobile ready" meaning they can go to the places where people actually live and hold an event in anything from a school to a bean field, from a city park to a basement in a war zone. Since the first birthday party at the end of 2017, our efforts to provide opportunities to displaced children to “just be a child” have expanded in both scale and types of events (much more than birthdays).
"The Cake" Part:
When we were thinking about our name we wanted it to reflect our beginnings. We started as “those people who throw birthdays,” so our name reflects this by having “cake” in the name. And let's be honest, who doesn't think "fun" when cake is mentioned.
"The Collaboration" Part:
One of our primary goals in all that we do is that it is a “collaborative event.” More than 95% of our team members are from the region in which we serve, giving us a relatively unique ability to creatively partner with not just the big international aid organizations, but to partner directly with local organizations, communities, families and individuals (which is always our preference). When we do one of our programs, we want the "credit" to go to those who are living alongside the children we are trying to serve.
We also want our supporters to realize and feel just how important they are to making the world a better place. One of the ways we judge our success is by our ability to help everyone from the donor to the “people on the ground” realize the important part they play in making the world a better place.
We want to come alongside, "collaborate," with anyone who shares our desire to make the world a more hopeful place for children.