On August 4, an enormous explosion destroyed the port of Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. It’s reported that at least 158 people are dead, 6,000 are injured and more than 300,000 people are now homeless.
Even before the explosion the people of Lebanon were enduring significant political and economic crisis, and the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, hospitals are heavily damaged and vital food supplies stored at the ports have been wiped out entirely.
The last set of exams in Lebanon saw some great results. Overall the children achieved a 99% pass rate for the Arabic and Maths tests which were taken by 211 students, and a 100% pass rate for English which was taken by 68 older students.
Exams are graded on a scale of 1 -10 with 10 the highest, 1 the lowest and 6 a pass. The majority of students are high-performing with 70% getting a grade 9 or above in Maths, 67% in Arabic and 59% in English.
You can see from the photo above that the children have loved celebrating, but what would they like to do with their skills in the future? Our partners asked them and here are a few of the responses...
Children on the Edge has been awarded £250,000 from Postcode Global Trust to fund its work providing education for Syrian refugees. Postcode Global Trust is funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £500 million for charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally. Through this award they will be supporting some of the most vulnerable children fleeing conflict in Syria.
On the 20th June each year, the world commemorates the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees. Around the world more than 50 million people have fled their homes, and over half of these are children.
The refugee children we work with in Lebanon, Bangladesh and Myanmar all show great strength, courage and resilience every day, surviving in some of the toughest places around the world. On World Refugee Day 2019, we wanted to take the time to share some of their thoughts and experiences.
After three years of great progress with tented education in Bekaa Valley, over 200 Syrian refugee children have taken another huge step forward by moving to a brand new school.
Together with partners Triumphant Mercy (TM), after supporting the creation of four colourful tent schools in Bekaa Valley settlements over the last few years, all the students have now transitioned to a new central building in Zahle.
Over the past four years Children on the Edge have been working in partnership with Lebanese NGO - Triumphant Mercy, within the refugee communities in Bekaa Valley. Together we worked to provide quality, child friendly education for Syrian refugee children who are unable to access government or UN school provision.
Since 2014, through four tent schools and a Community Centre school in Beirut, we supported education for hundreds of children aged 6 -12. Each school had a bespoke curriculum, refugee teachers, vocational skills opportunities and an environment of warmth and safety, where children could blossom.
Over the last three years we worked with teachers and staff at the tent schools to monitor and evaluate the progress of the children through these schools. The evaluation was extremely positive and at the close of 2018 results showed:
In the last few days Storm Norma has hit Lebanon with heavy rains, snowfall and freezing temperatures, leaving an estimated 70,000 refugees in need of emergency assistance.
Lebanon hosts over 1.5 million Syrian refugees, many of whom live in informal settlements with little to no infrastructure, as official refugee camps are not permitted. This makes these kinds of crises difficult to address, and UNHCR’s Interagency Coordination group report that 361 informal settlements and 11,301 refugees have been impacted by the storm so far. Unfortunately, the body of an 8 year old girl reported missing on Wednesday 10th January was recovered the day after. She had drowned after slipping into a rainwater channel.
For over four years, Children on the Edge have been supporting a small Lebanese organisation called Triumphant Mercy, to provide education for 500 Syrian refugee children, living in informal settlements the Bekaa Valley. They are also instrumental in providing additional support, care and supplies for the children and families living in these camps.
When the areas they work in were hit by the storms this week, this dedicated local group responded immediately, and Children on the Edge are urgently appealing for donations to assist them in rebuilding shelters.
Watch this space to see the development of these plans and click the buttons below to get involved.
In addition to the primary education provided for Syrian refugee children in the camps of Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, now older students are being given extra learning options to equip them for their daily lives and improve their future opportunities.
The 10th grade class has been learning a variety of different topics including intensive English classes, computer literacy (i.e. typing, Excel, Photoshop, Powerpoint), sewing and tailoring as well as going deeper into their academic studies.
They have also had experience being ‘teacher’s aides’ for part of term, which enabled them to see how lessons are planned and taught and how teachers manage the classrooms. Students then planned their own small lessons and taught some classes. Project worker Hannah says “It was difficult at first, but as time passed they became so much more confident in organising and leading the students”.
Students have also enjoyed a crafts and home decoration class with a volunteer teacher, taking things from their homes and turning them into decorations. They then had the opportunity to sell their crafts and decorations at a local market. They are also part of a building and wood construction course, where they learn the planning process, purchase materials, measure, cut and finally assemble different wooden projects.
In addition to practical skills, the entire school year have been learning economics, which is integrated into class times and projects. They collect money every week into a kitty to spend on things they want for the class. They have used this for craft materials and wood, then sold the items they made to make a profit. Hannah describes how “It is an amazing real time example and practice of economics. I saw some small tables they are building and was so impressed with their work!”
A short term volunteer also delivered solar oven building training for adults. The idea is that they can learn how to make solar ovens and then create small businesses. The added bonus is that, as electricity is unpredictable in Syria, when these refugees go back they will have useful transferrable knowledge to help refugee communities cook using solar power.
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