The dire economic situation in Lebanon - that was already leading to food shortages and made far worse by COVID-19 restrictions - was further exacerbated by the massive chemical explosion in Beirut’s port on 4th August 2020. Our local partner Triumphant Mercy’s (TM's) administrative offices and Beirut community centre are approximately two miles from the epicentre of the blast and their metal shutter was warped and windows smashed. In the end, the explosion caused 193 deaths, around 6,500 injuries and left approximately 300,000 people homeless.
TM immediately mobilised additional resources (including recruiting volunteers and fundraising) to respond to the needs of those affected by the blast. We ran an emergency appeal and raised over £10,000 to contribute to their efforts.
A Lebanese themed ‘dine in’ event, organised by Chichester based chef Juliet Graham has raised £1,375 for Children on the Edge’s Beirut explosion appeal.
Last month a group of Grade 9 refugee students from the school we support in Lebanon crossed the border and returned to Syria to take their high school exams. Taking their exams in Syria enables the children to prepare for their future, allowing them to continue their education if and when a return to their home country is possible. It was a major achievement for the children, their parents and our team, which took a huge amount of planning and preparation.
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: