The countries that border Syria have seen a massive influx of refugees, on a completely different scale to what other countries have seen: in Lebanon, one in every three people is now a refugee (up from around one in eight before the war). This sudden change has overwhelmed public services in these countries, and has left those refugees the most in need of those services unsupported.
In particular, a large number of child refugees have been left without access to public education. In many cases, they will have already missed key early years in their education, due to the breakdown of services in areas affected by the conflict. Without urgent support, the children risk becoming a “lost generation”.
With the objective of reducing this educational deficit, we have established two non-formal schools in Lebanon (Beirut, Arsal and Saida) and support three more inside Syria itself (one in Damascus and two in Manbij).
In each of our two schools in Lebanon, we run a core programme for the younger refugee children, with the aim of preparing them for entry tests into the public education system, a crucial factor in their chances of success. We also run programmes of catch-up education for older children who are over the age of compulsory education, and consequently have reduced access to the public system. Finally, we offer literacy programmes for younger and older refugee women, as a means of empowering them to navigate a new world.
Our programmes are designed according to modern practices of participative, creative and holistic learning, whose modules include awareness sessions, life skills courses, and psychosocial support for children and young people (particularly for the many who have lost a parent).
We support the three schools in Syria with money for salaries, materials and repairs, which they use to follow a programme based on the model of our Lebanese schools.